Wounded Times

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

TIME uses wrong military suicide numbers

Report Reveals Flaws In Army’s Handling Of PTSD
TIME
By AP / Gene Johnson
March 08, 2013

The Army has more than doubled its number of military and civilian behavioral health workers in the past five years, but a litany of shortcomings still plagues the force when it comes to diagnosing and treating soldiers for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to an Army report being released Friday.

Confusing paperwork, inconsistent training and guidelines, and incompatible data systems have hindered the service as it tries to deal with behavioral health issues, the report said. It’s a crucial issue: After a decade of war, soldier suicides outpace combat deaths.

Last May, the Army commissioned a task force to conduct a sweeping review of how it evaluates soldiers for mental health problems at all its facilities. The review came under pressure from Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, of Washington, who was upset to learn that hundreds of soldiers at Madigan Army Medical Center south of Seattle had had their PTSD diagnoses reversed by a forensic psychiatry team, resulting in a potential cut to their benefits and questions about whether the changes were made to save money.

Last year the Army – and the military as a whole – suffered the highest number of suicides ever recorded, prompting then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to declare it an epidemic. The Army had 183 suicides among active-duty soldiers, up from 167 in 2011, and the military as a whole had 350 suicides, up from 301 the year before.
read more here
When will the media get any of this right?

2 comments:

CPT Blackadder said...

DoD cowardice, and weak politically motivated senior “leadership” is killing our troops.
Hiding suicide data-doesn’t help, in fact it hurts the efforts of those who are working to provide care to those soldiers and their families who are at risk. Our efforts are greatly hampered when the DoD keeps the information hidden and buried away from the American public. It is little wonder that when you discuss the historically high rates of suicide among military personnel/veterans with the American public that the most common response is “I never that, why haven’t we heard about it?
It is tragic enough to lose troops in the performance of their duties. But it is damnable to see the DoD cover-up their negligence to provide our troops with the care they need to prevent soldier suicides. The American public has a right to know that billions of their tax payer dollars have gone to fund the largest psychological “research” study, which they have falsely called Suicide Prevention and Resilience Programs.
Here is yet another tragic loss of a soldier
Memorial Svc held today for SSG Derick Wallace. Last week I heard about this soldier’s decision to take his life by jumping off the San Francisco bridge on 13 June 2013. In trying to verify the report, I searched-and searched-and searched numerous resources, to no avail.
After nailing down a few details from my original source I rechecked all of my DoD resources. The result-nothing. However, I was able to locate a small blurb, and a facebook page which don’t give the cause of death, but certainly confirms his still unreported death.
http://www.indiana.edu/~bands/derrick-wallace.php
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Biohazard-Brass-Band/139408742796526

And FYI-as of 5 July, 2013 the suicide data for May 2013 has not been released.

Kathie Costos DiCesare said...

I wish I could say that you know the worst but there is so much more to this story.
I work with a lot of families when it is too late to help someone they loved. They blame themselves for the suicide. Because of the research on this site, they asked me to tell the true story so I wrote THE WARRIOR SAW, SUICIDES AFTER WAR. The DOD has been pushing the program that has caused the most damage.
You are also correct on the suicide report not being released yet but they have also not released the Suicide Event Report for 2012. Most of the people I know are freaking out because it should have been released in April.