Thursday, July 29, 2010

Military Stress: Army Releases Report on Suicide Prevention

I just can't think of anything more to add, as not only myself but many others have stated over and over thousands of times in these years, to the three reports and link to the study then are stated within them!

This is a 10MB, 370page pdf download, you can visit the Army site by click the graphic or the link.

Army Health Promotion, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention Report

July 29, 2010 With suicides at an all-time high, the U.S. Army released a report today blaming "a permissive unit environment" for high risk behavior.

"For some, the rigors of service, repeated deployment, injuries and separations from family resulted in a sense of isolation, hopelessness and life fatigue," Army Vice Chief of Staff Peter Chiarelli says in a letter accompanying the report.

In fiscal year 2009, 160 soldiers took their own lives. In addition, there were 1,713 suicide attempts and nearly 17,000 drug and alcohol offenses.

The report cites an increase in waivers granted to new recruits coming into the Army. Since 2004 more 20 percent of new recruits were granted waivers for behavior that otherwise would have kept them out of the service. "Of the 80,403 waivers granted," the report states, "47,478 were granted to individuals with a history of drug, alcohol, misdemeanor crimes, or serious misconduct (defined as a felony.)"

While waivers have been on the rise, the report says, there has been a decrease in soldiers being forced to leave the Army for misconduct. "This has resulted in the retention of over 25,283 soldiers who would have otherwise been separated in previous years," the report states, citing "an increase in tolerance, if not acceptance of high risk behavior."

Commanders may overlook misconduct when they are preparing their units for deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan, an Army official told reporters in a background briefing this morning. "When you go to deploy you want every soldier you can get," he said. Continued: CBS News Report

Commanders Have Ignored Major Mental Health Issues, Army Report Concludes

A "hard-hitting and transparent report," which Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, hopes will "inform and educate, spark discussion, hone compliance on existing policy and provide an azimuth for the way ahead," concludes the Army has not paid close enough attention to mental health issues — which can lead to violence, drug abuse and suicide.

In his introduction, Chiarelli says that "now more than ever, our Soldiers need firm, fair and consistent leadership."

Although he acknowledges that commanders — like troops — have been stretched thin by repeated deployments during two wars, Chiarelli says the Army's leadership has to do better, taking "a holistic, multidisciplinary approach to address this risk." Continued

U.S. Army Stressed After Nearly a Decade of War

Army Report: Crime, Prescription Drug Use Makes Soldiers 'More Dangerous Than the Enemy'

July 29, 2010 After nine years of war, the U.S. Army is showing signs of stress because of repeated deployments and inadequate support for soldiers when they return, according to a blunt internal report released today. It blasts the Army's leadership for failing to recognize the problem.

The figures in recent years are staggering.

The number of soldiers committing suicide has increased since 2004, surpassing civilian rates in 2008. Use of prescription drugs has tripled in the past five years; prescription amphetamines use has doubled between 2006 and 2009. One third of soldiers take at least one prescription drug and 14 percent of soldiers are on some form of powerful painkiller.

Crime is rising every year as well. Each year has seen an increase of 5,000 misdemeanors over the previous year, meaning soldiers are expected to commit around 55,000 such crimes in 2010. Sexual offenses have tripled since 2003. Domestic abuse is up 177 percent in the past six years. Continued

Except this, the not so quite years we've been through before the Storm Hits for the next decades in many forms!

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