Friday, November 04, 2011

Brief: DoD must alter suicide prevention plan

By Patricia Kime - Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Nov 3, 2011 18:17:03 EDT

Military suicides threaten the health of the all-volunteer forces and the Pentagon is “losing the battle” to prevent them, with active-duty members taking their own lives at a rate of one every 36 hours, a new
The policy brief, “Losing the Battle: The Challenge of Military Suicide,” from the Washington-based Center for a New American Security think-tank, exhorts the Defense Department to change protocols and policies that it says hinder suicide-prevention efforts.

It recommends changes ranging from establishing unit cohesion programs after deployments to encouraging commanders to speak with troops about their privately owned firearms.

Service in wartime, say authors Margaret Harrell and Nancy Berglass, can chip away at three endemic human factors that keep people from committing suicide. Some psychiatrists have identified these as belongingness, usefulness and a natural aversion to pain or death.

According to the report, service members feel a strong sense of belonging when they are in a field unit, but this may wane after they transfer from their unit or leave the military.

Read the entire story here.

New Report: Military Losing the Battle Against Suicide

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