Disorders and Treatment
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Suicides in the military are not a new phenomenon. However, there was an 80% suicide increase among US Army personnel from 2004 to 2008 when compared to suicides from 1977 to 2003.
2008 was also the first year that the army’s suicide rate was greater than that of the general population’s, after adjustments were made for age and sex.
From January to June of this year, army suicides rose 18% over the same period during 2011. This sharp rise in mental health problems among military personnel and veterans is frustrating to address since an individual’s risk for suicide is still difficult to predict. Still, clues are being found.
In September’s issue of the Mayo Clinic’s publication Proceedings, Dr. Timothy Lineberry shared research findings and recommendations that may help stem the increase in US Army and other military service suicides.
The main reason veterans give for not seeking help at outpatient mental health facilities is fear of being stigmatized. Please support and encourage any veterans you know to seek help if they are experiencing symptoms of depression, PTSD, intense anxiety, high levels of aggression, impulsivity, or problems sleeping.
Lineberry, Timothy W., MD, & O’Connor, Stephen S., PhD, (Sept 2012) Suicide in the US Army, Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 87:9, 871-878.
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