Suicide is now the most common form of death in the Army according to a new study released last week.
Is the Stress Pandemic affecting the military suicide rate?
23 Aug, 2012, 09:32 ET
NEW YORK, Aug. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Soldiers killed themselves at a rate faster than one per day in July, the Army announced last week. The Army suicide pace this year is surpassing last year, particularly among active-duty soldiers where there is a 22% increase — 116 deaths so far this year vs. 95 during the same seven months last year, according to Army data. In a recent interview with USA Today, Gen. Ray Odierno, Army chief of staff, said suicides are now the most common form of death in the Army, claiming more lives that combat or motor vehicle accidents. 
According to a Pentagon study released last year, nearly 20 percent—or one in five returning war veterans—reported symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or major depression. "There is a major health crisis facing those men and women who have served our nation in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Terri Tanielian, the project's co-leader and a researcher at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. "Unless they receive appropriate and effective care for these mental health conditions, there will be long-term consequences for them and for the nation. Unfortunately, we found there are many barriers preventing them from getting the high-quality treatment they need." 
Many family members of soldiers returning from their deployment with PTSD say the stigma associated with seeking psychiatric help has hurt their cause. "Sixty-two percent of respondents who felt their service member had exhibited signs of PTSD, regardless of any official diagnosis, did not seek treatment, demonstrating there is still much to be done to help service members and their families cope with the invisible wounds of war," said the group in a statement accompanying the survey, which polled about 4,000 military family members. Some of the respondents also said that despite efforts to encourage service members to seek treatment, military culture still views PTSD as a sign of weakness that could derail promising careers for soldiers. 
Mr. Huljich feels that families of returning military must be prepared for changes in family dynamics. Having experienced significant tumult with his own family situation and mind conditions, he has developed a 9 step program to master stress in which family members can take small practical steps that, together, can help make a huge difference. Affected families should try to create a safe zone for the afflicted. Due to the huge stigma and overall confusion involved with sufferers from PTSD, one has to be very sensitive when deploying a method to help he or she who is suffering. Developing a sense of awareness equips you with the tools to fight back.
In publishing Stress Pandemic, a self-help & stress management book this summer, Huljich states "I hope that all families will pause for a moment and reflect on where they are in their lives – and where they are headed. But most of all, I hope that my Lifestyle Solution will not only help you survive the stress pandemic but thrive in the coliseum of life."
Huljich kicked off a 20-city nationwide tour last week to include the following cities: New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Detroit, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, San Diego, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Portland, Seattle, Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas; he is available for press and media interviews.
SOURCE Mwella Publishing
Share this article