Pentagon Begins Massive Suicide Study

Saturday, September 12, 2009

With more soldiers dying of suicide than in combat this year, the military is looking for a solution to this problem through a three-year, $50 million study. The study will include psychological assessments and DNA samples of half a million soldiers.

Still, some believe that simply researching the problem is unnecessary. What prevents soldiers from seeking psychological counseling is the military culture of preserving dignity and not showing emotion. Changing this culture will encourage soldiers to seek help when they need it. 
One measure that is being promoted to stem suicide rates in the military is a bill, the Post-Deployment Health Assessment Act of 2009, that requires mental health screening and mental health training for all soldiers and reservists, to go along with combat training, in order to teach soldiers to recognize problems and intervene early. The bill has been referred to two committees and one subcommittee in the House of Representatives and one in the Senate.
-Jamie Mei Cheng
US Army Seeks to Stem Suicides (by Jane O’Brien, BBC News)
Army Releases August Suicide Data (Department of Defense News Release)


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