‘Continued Stress’ on Soldiers Causes 32 Suicides in June
July 16, 2010
(ChattahBox)—War is hell and it is seemingly endless in the times we live in. Our soldiers have been fighting in the battlefield non-stop, for nearly ten-years in horrific conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan. And with less time in between deployments than ever before, our men and women in uniform are experiencing increased levels of stress. And it’s deadly. During the month of June, 32 soldiers took their own lives, bringing the suicide total for 2009 to an alarming number of 145. The military is responding by beefing up its suicide prevention services, including producing a new video designed to appeal to soldiers facing real-life problems, entitled “Shoulder to Shoulder: “I Will Never Quit on Life.”
Th suicide spike in June is the largest number, since the Vietnam War, according to the report on the grim statistics by CNN:
“The statistics show that 32 soldiers killed themselves in June, the highest number in a single month since the Vietnam era. Twenty-one of them were on active duty, while 11 were in the National Guard or Army Reserve in an inactive status. Seven of those soldiers killed themselves while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the Army numbers.” [...]
“Including the June numbers, 145 soldiers have killed themselves this year, more than half of the total number for all of 2009, according to Army statistics.In 2009, a record-breaking year for suicides in the service, 245 soldiers killed themselves.”
Col. Chris Philbrick, head of the Army’s suicide prevention task force, doesn’t have a clear-cut answer, as to why so many soldiers are taking their own lives, but he points to the high stress levels.
“Continued stress on the force and the opportunities we have been facing in terms of the challenges in the Army continue to cause these events to take place.”
The military is hoping that increased suicide prevention outreach programs and new videos will help to save lives.
Th new video is described on the military’s website, as another tool to help soldiers deal with high stress levels in the battlefield, while also coping with personal problems at home.
“These real Soldier stories for Army Suicide Prevention have the power to reduce the stigma associated with personal distress, to inspire individuals to get the help they need, and to motivate people to look out for each other.”