Tags: Army | Rising | Suicide | Rate

Army: Rising Suicide Rate Reflects Risk-Taking

Friday, 30 Jul 2010 02:48 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
WASHINGTON — An Army report on the record number of soldier suicides says the trend reflects a rise in risky behavior including drunken driving and drug abuse in a military stretched to the breaking point by the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The report says the Army is failing its soldiers by missing signs of trouble, or by looking the other way as commanders try to keep to tight schedules required to meet deployment schedules.

The Army vice chief of staff, Gen. Peter Chiarelli, said Thursday that statistics on levels of drug and alcohol abuse, car accidents and crime suggests that soldiers are taking more risks while discipline has slipped.

The Army counted 160 suicides last year, the highest total ever. The rate was above that of the civilian population for the second year in a row.

The study counted an additional 146 deaths in 2009 that it says were due to murder, drug overdoses or other causes the Army lumps together as risky behavior.

There were also 1,713 known suicide attempts last year.

The ramped-up tempo of Army life, with faster deployments and too little time at home, underlies the problem but is not its sole cause, Chiarelli said.

Most suicides occur early in a soldier's Army career, and some come before a soldier has deployed.

The report raises the possibility that part of the increase in risky behavior comes from an increase in young soldiers attracted to the wartime force precisely because it is dangerous.

"Looking across the Army, the (report) team found that there appeared to be an overall increase in high-risk behavior," the report said.

"Leader accountability had atrophied," the report said. "There were too many gaps and seams in programs and processes that allowed high-risk behavior to continue undetected and seemingly unchecked."

Among dozens of recommendations are increases in drug and mental health staffs and ways to encourage soldiers to seek help.

Chiarelli said he would like to see supervisors at all levels intervene before problems get out of hand and accurately report problems when they occur.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Rasmussen Poll: Labor Day End of Summer for Most Americans

Monday, 01 Sep 2014 13:52 PM

The majority of Americans say that Labor Day signifies the unofficial end of summer, not the day to recognize the contri . . .

Obama Promotes Surging Economy as Midterm Elections Near

Monday, 01 Sep 2014 13:46 PM

Boosted by recent economic gains, President Barack Obama is sounding more bullish about the nation's recovery from the G . . .

Sen. Mike Lee Pleads: Abolish Common Core

Monday, 01 Sep 2014 12:52 PM

Utah Sen. Mike Lee called on Americans to join him in the effort to abolish the federal Common Core education standards  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved