facebooktwitterRSS
- Advertisement -
  • Most Commentedmost commented up
  • Most Emailedmost emailed up
  • Popularmost popular up
- Advertisement -
 

« News Home

Vets commit suicide at two or three times the rate of civilians



Published: Wed, May 14, 2014 @ 12:05 a.m.

By William K. Alcorn

alcorn@vindy.com

NILES

With only 22 states reporting, 22 veterans and one active-duty military person commit suicide every day.

“Burdened with the stigma associated with mental-health issues and the military ‘shame’ surrounding post-traumatic stress disorder [PTSD], they instead turn to suicide as their only option to relieve suffering,” said leaders of a workshop, “Supporting Veterans and Their Families: Suicide Risk & Prevention and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.”

Leading the workshop Tuesday for mental-health care and social-worker professionals were Amber Stiles-Bodnar, a local licensed professional clinical counselor, and Joseph P. Pecorelli, Navy clinical psychologist.

Veterans commit suicide at double and sometimes triple the rates of civilians, and neither the U.S. Department of Defense nor the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs tracks suicides among military families because they are not considered casualties of war.

“That is unsettling,” said Pecorelli, who spent 26 years in the Navy, including four years during the Vietnam War era and four years as an officer.

“If there is one thing I hope people get from the workshop is a better understanding of what’s going on with military members and their families. The suicide rate is really significant,” he said.

Pecorelli and Stiles-Bodnar urged the 120 health care professionals at the meeting to be aware of the symptoms of PTSD and potential suicide.

Factors contributing to the higher rate of suicide include: hero status and having a hard time living up to that status, the stigma in the military of asking for help, anticipating their own death, killing and survivor guilt when someone else is killed.

Exposure to artillery fire, being shot at, firing at the enemy, seeing dead bodies or remains, being attacked or ambushed, knowing a military member injured or killed, seeing dead or injured Americans and seeing injured women and /or children and being unable to help are other risk factors.

Other factors occur when the military member comes home.

While they were gone, there was a shift in family responsibilities, and they feel they no longer have a role, Stiles-Bodnar said.

The family of a deployed soldier also has difficult issues to face, Pecorelli said.

The family has to cope with the soldier’s absence, sometimes at short notice, and there can be financial issues and problems with children.

“Studies indicate children [age] 11-17 suffered with emotional and behavioral issues three to four times higher than the general populations, specifically anxiety,” Pecorelli said.

When service members come home, they may have changed, but the family wants them back the way they were.

The family’s expectations are not met, and the service member suffers and may turn to suicide. Families may not know where to turn, Pecorelli and Bodnar said.

Locally, veterans and their families can seek help by calling Help Hotline Crisis Center at 330-747-2696, the National Suicide Prevention toll-free number at 800-427-3606, and the Department of Veterans Affairs offers a National Suicide Prevention toll-free hotline number: 800-273-8255, press 1 for veterans.


Comments

1daar2055(54 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

I'm kind of confused on this subject. I know that alot of our Vets that got DRAFTED suffer from depression of what they saw and went threw. My heart aches for them and their families. Of course we need to support them and take care of them. Those men/women were forced to serve our country or face prison time. But, now there is no more draft and men/women enlist knowing very well that if war or conflicts happen they will be deployed. Its there job. Its not as if this is a surprise to them. Enlisting into the arm forces comes with many many risks.

Suggest removal:

2billdog1(1436 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Yes, enlisting comes with many risks, it doesn't change the traumatic events that take place during war. Many of these men/women enlisted purely because our country needed them. I just don't see what is confusing about it. Whether drafted or enlisted the conditions of war do not change.

Suggest removal:

3jeratboy(127 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

There seems to be an increase over the last 20 years or so. Maybe better screening for enlisting? Today they want to put a label on everything and I don't think that helps.

Billdog's statement about enlisting because our country needed them? I don't agree. More want in than are needed. Most still join for reasons such as college money or no job.

Suggest removal:

4billdog1(1436 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Doesn't matter the reason for joining. My point is that war is the same conditions whether enlisted or drafted.

Suggest removal:


News
Opinion
Entertainment
Sports
Marketplace
Classifieds
Records
Discussions
Community
Help
Forms
Neighbors

HomeTerms of UsePrivacy StatementAdvertiseStaff DirectoryHelp
© 2014 Vindy.com. All rights reserved. A service of The Vindicator.
107 Vindicator Square. Youngstown, OH 44503

Phone Main: 330.747.1471 • Interactive Advertising: 330.740.2955 • Classified Advertising: 330.746.6565
Sponsored Links: Vindy Wheels | Vindy Jobs | Vindy Homes