Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Military repeats "One suicide too many" but won't change

Military repeats "One suicide too many" but won't change
by Chaplain Kathie
Wounded Times Blog
October 23, 2012

34% let someone know they were in that much pain before committing suicide. General Cunniff also said that "peer to peer" is something they rely on. So who will ask why it is only 34% communicating anguish? Who will ask if the training the troops get on "resiliency" training, supposedly informing the troops on warning signs, worked, then why are the numbers all going up?
"General Cunniff said they rely on peer-to-peer involvement for evidence of mental or emotional anguish. Thirty-four percent of suicide victims communicated their intentions beforehand."
That's been my biggest issue with all of this. I've watched in horror as the reports come out providing evidence Suicide Prevention and Resiliency programs are not working. I never seem to read a reporter actually knowing enough to ask the questions that need to be addressed.

While it is clear they do care about the men and women in their command, they can only use what tools they are given and if they are told by military brass these steps are the answer, they trust them. They trust them because they are supposed to know what they are talking about. It isn't as if they can come up with their own programs and do their own thing. Or can they? We've seen it before when these programs were tweaked so they actually do work.
Taking On PTSD and Military Suicides
By Dino Flammia 2 hours ago

The Military and Veterans Affairs Committees from both houses of the state legislature joined for a hearing Monday in Lawrenceville, concerning the current status of suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among New Jersey’s veterans and active armed forces.

The committees heard testimony from Adjutant General Michael Cunniff, head of the New Jersey National Guard, who said August nationwide numbers confirm nearly 140 suicides among active duty personnel and reserves so far this year.

“One suicide amongst the military is way too many,” Cunniff said.

Military suicides have become a too-common consequence of PTSD, along with depression, insomnia and substance abuse. State Senator James Beach, committee chairman, called PTSD an “epidemic facing those who serve our country.” He used Monday’s session to better understand the problem and possible ways to limit its effects.

“The one thing I see we need to improve upon is making sure that we notify all of our veterans of what it is that’s available to them; I think we have been a little lax in our outreach,” Beach said after the hearing.
read more here

By the time the end of this day comes, a soldier or a Marine would have reached the end of their life because hope of healing, of being helped has vanished. Maybe they will try one more time to talk to a friend hoping to hear that one word when they believe there is hope for them.

How can they find hope if everyone they talk to has the same misunderstanding of what PTSD is? How can they when everyone has the same idea that these servicemen and women are responsible for their own suffering because they didn't train to become "mentally tough" enough to endure?

That is the message "Resiliency" training delivers.

What they need to hear is:
We train you to fight any enemy and defeat them. You didn't know how to do it when you graduated high school. You had to learn how to use your weapons. You had to learn how to train your bodies. You had to learn how to follow orders. You had to learn how to work as a team. The concern you showed for your brothers in arms was something you didn't have to learn. That was already there inside of you. Now we have to teach you how to fight this new enemy and defeat it with the same determination to win.

You have to learn how to use the weapons to defeat it. You have to learn how to train your bodies to return to peaceful lives back home. You have to learn how to work as a team to support each other. You have to use that same concern for your brothers to make sure they are not taken away needlessly. You have to find that part of what's inside of you that allowed you to push past the pain in combat and fuel it. Your brothers are still in danger and they need you.

As surely as an IED took many by surprise, this enemy waits for them as well. You can't see it clearly. There are signs something is not right on the surface if you know what you're looking for. If you see the signs, the bomb is discovered before it goes off. It is rendered harmless and lives are saved. If you don't see the signs, then it goes off and many are dead.