Army Suicides on the Rise


WASHINGTON - The number of Army suicides increased again last year, amid the most violent year yet in both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Two defense officials said Thursday that 108 troops committed suicide in 2007, six more than the previous year. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the full report on the deaths wasn't being released until later Thursday.

About a quarter of the deaths occurred in Iraq.

The overall toll was the highest in many years, and it was unclear when, if ever, it was previously that high. Immediately available Army records go back only to 1990 and the figure then was lower — at 102 — for that year as well as 1991.


The increases come despite a host of efforts to improve the mental health of a force stressed by long and repeated tours of duty. Increasing the strain on the force last year was the extension of deployments to 15 months from 12 months, a practice that is being terminated this year.

What really frustrates me about reading this is my feeling of helplessness. Here I am, a recently graduated mental health professional having difficulty finding a job, and I can't get a job at the VA, due to DADT.

I'd be interested to know what these "efforts" to improve mental health actually are, and how much they could possibly be helping when Army personnel are continually faced with extended deployments and multiple tours of duty. I read news like this and I wonder how people can still be pushing that "no one talks about the good things coming out of Iraq" pap.

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