2.58 Insider: The DOD and Brass Don’t Know and Don’t Care about Suicides
On July 29, the Army released its “Health Promotion, Risk-Reduction and Suicide Prevention Report,” the result of a 15-month effort, directed by Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli. Chiarelli explained to reporters at the Pentagon that the investigation that produced the report was prompted by the fact that in January 2009, the suicide rate in the Army hit 20 per 100,000 population, exceeding the civilian rate of 19 per 100,000 for the first time.
In addition to suicide, the report addresses other indicators of stress on the force, including high-risk behaviors, such as substance abuse, and the number of soldiers who enter the mental-health system voluntarily as well as involuntarily. Then it lays out what Chiarelli described as a “campaign plan” to try to drive down the suicide rate, and includes more than 250 recommendations in an attempt to identify and mitigate the problems that stem from “nearly a decade of persistent conflict.”
Read the full article at www.veteranstoday.com.