Tags: pentagon | ptsd | suicide | study

Pentagon PTSD: Suicide-Risk Troops Not Getting Help?

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By    |   Monday, 07 Aug 2017 01:59 PM

Pentagon healthcare providers are reportedly not giving troops with PTSD and depression the help that they need, according to a new study released by RAND Corp. Monday.

The report, commissioned by the Pentagon, looked at 39,000 troops who had been diagnosed in 2013 and found that only 30 percent of troops suffering from depression and 54 percent with PTSD at risk of killing themselves received adequate care, USA Today reported.

"We want to ensure that they get connected with behavioral health care," Kimberly Hepner, the report’s lead author, said, according to USA Today. "The most immediate action — removal of firearms — can help to reduce risk of suicide attempts."

"This is important for service members because suicide death by firearms is the most common method," Hepner said. "So the provider needs to have that discussion about access to firearms. Not only their service weapon but their access to personal weapons."

"These can be quite difficult conversations to have with service members," Hepner added. "Certainly limiting access to their service weapon would involve notifying their command."

The report also found that a third of troops, who have been diagnosed, have been prescribed medication that can actually be harmful to them based on their condition.

"It is explicitly mentioned in guidelines for treatment of PTSD that benzodiazepines are contraindicated," Hepner said. "We continue to see a relatively high rate of prescription for a medication we would hope would not be prescribed."

This comes after another recent study this month suggested that U.S. Army soldiers, who have served in units with a history of suicide, were found to be at high risk of harming themselves as well, according to Medscape.

"Our study indicates that risk of suicide attempt among U.S. Army soldiers is influenced by a history of suicide attempts within a soldier's unit and that higher numbers of unit suicide attempts are related to greater individual suicide risk, particularly in smaller units," the study says.

"Attention to unit characteristics by leadership and service professionals may be a component in suicide attempt reduction efforts," the authors of the study added.

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Pentagon healthcare providers are reportedly not giving troops with PTSD and depression the help that they need, according to a new study released by RAND Corp.
pentagon, ptsd, suicide, study
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2017-59-07
Monday, 07 Aug 2017 01:59 PM
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