Sunday, July 14, 2013

Ignoring easy answers on preventing military suicides

Ignoring easy answers on preventing military suicides
De-Tour Combat PTSD Survivor's Guide
Kathie Costos
July 14, 2013

The more I read about how little has been figured out on reducing suicides tied to military service, the more I get freaked out. Everyone should be by now because if an average person like me figured it out, the leaders are still scratching their heads.

It isn't that I am smarter than they are but more about paying attention than anything else. In 2008 I was hearing from more and more veterans about what used to be called Battlemind that morphed into Comprehensive Soldier Fitness. They said this approach made them feel as if they were mentally weak and PTSD was their fault because they didn't train right to prevent PTSD. The DOD remains clueless.

Last year after working with families after it was too late to prevent suicide, they asked me to put it all together in a book. I agreed to do it even though I knew it would cause a tremendous emotional price on me. Every time I do anything on suicides, including this report, I think of my husband's nephew. One more suicide story no one thinks about. While I helped my husband, I couldn't get his nephew to listen.

Anyway, I wrote THE WARRIOR SAW, SUICIDES AFTER WAR because of all the research on Wounded Times, over 30 years of working with veterans and their families including mine and listening to veterans.

Redeployments do factor in but not as much as what they are told by the military. When they believe it is their fault, they will not open up as soon as they need to about what is going on. Then instead of being able to work it out and make peace with it, they hold it all in as it eats away at everything they believed in including themselves.

My comment on this!
When billions are spent every year on "resilience" and "prevention" resulting in higher attempted and successful suicides, the easy answer is simple. Stop the programs doing more harm than good! How many years do psychiatrists have to scream about Comprehensive Soldier Fitness being a big part of the problem?

Want to know what else they are not telling you? Read it on Kindle and save some money. Everything in it came from news reports posted on Wounded Times, government and congressional reports. Nothing was hidden but most of it was ignored.

No easy answers for military suicide
Deployments, combat, PTSD don't explain majority of cases
Written by
Philip Grey
July 14, 2013

CLARKSVILLE, TENN. — She was a well-liked, exemplary Fort Campbell soldier, a loving mother and wife on a clean, upward career trajectory in the Army that she loved. And she was the last person anyone thought was at risk for suicide.

Right up until the moment she plunged a knife into her own neck.

No one saw it coming – not family, friends, fellow soldiers, health professionals or police, or the Fort Campbell Army officer detailed to conduct the 15-6 Line of Duty investigation into her death.

Hers is one of 17 reports on such investigations recently obtained by Leaf-Chronicle news partner WSMV-Channel 4, Nashville, through Freedom of Information Act requests. The reports shed some much-needed light on a problem of great concern to the communities around Fort Campbell, especially since many military suicides, such as the case cited above, take place outside the post gates.

And the reports illustrate the difficulty of addressing the military suicide problem:
• Some victims were driven perfectionists and model soldiers. Some were anything but. Drugs and alcohol show up in some files and not at all in others. The same goes for financial problems.
• Some had not a hint of relationship issues, or criminal conduct or even minor misconduct, while others rode the razor’s edge of trouble all the way down the chute to oblivion.
• Some gave signs or cried out for help, but many did not, and in too many cases, victims were so good at hiding their problems and their pain that their deaths took those closest to them completely by surprise.

Perhaps surprisingly, none of the soldiers who committed suicide had a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder.
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