Suicide Is Not Painless

Thinking of the theme song for M*A*S*H…..

But on a more serious note…..suicides among our service people is not getting better……https://lobotero.com/2019/06/24/suicides/

In the 4 months since I wrote my last post on this subject the figures are looking worse…….

Looks like the US Navy could set a new all-time high for suicides…..

A total of 53 active-duty and seven reserve sailors have died by suicide so far this year, and that is “roughly a little bit ahead” of the number of sailors who had taken their own lives this time in 2018, the Navy’s top suicide prevention officer said.

“That trend is unacceptable,” Rear Adm. Philip Sobeck, director, 21st Century Sailor, told reporters on Thursday. “We are looking at every aspect of why that trend continues, at least for the last three years. We’re determined not to allow it to continue the way it’s going.”

Last year, Navy suicides reached their highest level since the service began recording data on the matter in 2006, with 68 active-duty sailors and 11 sailors in the Navy Reserve dying by suicide.

https://taskandpurpose.com/navy-suicides-new-record

And unfortunately the US Navy is not alone in this…..

The rate of suicide among active duty service members has increased significantly over the past five years, according to a Pentagon report released on Thursday.

The report comes after three U.S. sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush died by apparent suicide last week, incidents the Navy has said are separate and unrelated.

The Pentagon’s first annual suicide report said that the rate of suicide deaths among active duty service members was 24.8 per 100,000 service members, up from just under 20 per 100,000 in 2013. In 2018, 541 service members died by suicide, the report said, adding that the most common method of suicide was with firearms.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-military-suicide/suicide-rate-in-active-duty-u-s-service-members-rises-significantly-idUKKBN1WB2SY

The active duty trooper is not alone…the National Guard has also seen a rise……

The National Guard’s suicide rate has surpassed the entire active-duty force and the reserves, as well as the civilian population.

30.6 people of every 100,000 in the National Guard died by suicide in 2018, the Pentagon’s first-ever Annual Suicide Report for 2018 said, compared to 24.8 active-duty service members, and 22.9 reservists.

https://taskandpurpose.com/national-guard-pentagon-suicide-report

Families are also not immune…..

In what was hailed as the Pentagon’s first-ever report on military family suicides, the Defense Department said Thursday that 123 spouses and 63 children took their own lives in 2017.

According to the inaugural Department of Defense 2018 Annual Suicide Report, the 186 deaths included 122 among of active-duty personnel families, 29 among Reserve families and 35 within National Guard families.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2019/09/27/first-pentagon-releases-data-military-spouse-and-child-suicides.html

This is a sad turn and it just keeps getting worse…..maybe the military should go about trying to find a cause and a good treatment to prevent our brave service people from feeling like they need to oft themselves.

Then there are those that try to make suicide painless……

Opponents of euthanasia have expressed concern at the creation of a “suicide machine”, which has been developed by Dr Philip Nitschke.

The well-known advocate of individuals’ right to die has regularly caused controversy by assisting what he calls “rational suicides”. 

Having developed machines in the past that could be used by individuals to inject themselves with lethal doses of barbiturates, Dr Nitschke says he is now close to finalising a new device which uses nitrogen gas to cause death.

He says the idea for the invention was sparked by conversations in 2012 over the case of British man Tony Nicklinson, who suffered from locked-in syndrome – the result of a severe stroke in 2005 that had left him unable to speak or move.

Mr Nicklinson fought a long, and ultimately unsuccessful, court battle in a bid to allow his doctors legally to assist his suicide. In search of assisted suicide options, his lawyer reached out to Dr Nitschke, who began to consider how it would be possible for an individual whose movements were limited to blinking might be able to trigger death without the need for help by others. 

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/suicide-machine-assisted-dying-euthanasia-debate-uk-clinic-sarco-nitschke-a8307741.html

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

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Closing Thought–02Aug19

I have written ,much about the problems that our veterans are having….their mental health……suicides were on the rise at a time when the VA has its problems as well…..I have written about these problems often….

https://lobotero.com/2015/04/02/veterans-suicide/

https://lobotero.com/2019/06/24/suicides/

I revisit my post on veterans suicide because I read that the UK seems to be having a like problem with the veterans…..

A coroner has warned that more military veterans suffering PTSD may take their own lives unless urgent action is taken to improve their care.

Emma Brown, the coroner for Birmingham and Solihull, has written to NHS services and police highlighting a catalogue of failures in the treatment of Lance Corporal Dave Jukes in the months leading up to his suicide.

Earlier this month, she ruled the 49-year-old veteran from Birmingham, who had served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Bosnia, took his own life last year after repeated calls for help were largely ignored.

In a strongly worded letter seen by The Sunday Telegraph, she has urged NHS England, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust and West Midlands Police to learn from mistakes in the soldier’s treatment.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/british-armed-services-veterans-suicides-200000175.html

It is a crying shame that these men and women made it home to their loved ones only to face PTSD that could just as lethal as any enemy on the battlefield.

Hopefully my readers in the UK will fill in any blanks that I may have in this issue.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Suicides

Closing Thought–24Jun19

I have been watching the rate of suicides among our veterans and farmers as well….It is troubling at the rate these groups are killing themselves…..I wrote recently about military suicides……https://lobotero.com/2015/04/02/military-suicides-arent-linked-to-deployment-study-finds/

More articles:

https://lobotero.com/2019/03/06/to-help-our-veterans/

https://lobotero.com/2008/05/29/gi-suicides-at-record-high/

Let’s look at the suicides by active military personnel……

The suicide rate among veterans and, now, among active-duty GIs is at an historic high. The U.S. Marine Corps, for example, just turned in an all-time record in 2018 for attempted and successful suicides in a year (354 active and reserve). Marine Colonel Dom D. Ford, writing in the Marine Times, is grasping at straws to explain the rising rates, from claiming there is too little Christian religion in the ranks to the Marines not being willing to accept counsel and advice. As for the too little Christianity in the ranks, as an advisory board member of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, I know the opposite is true: there is too much Dominionist Christianity in the ranks. In fact, as soon as Colonel Ford made his comments, the phones at MRFF began ringing.

But might there be far greater reasons than these desperate efforts suggest behind such a deadly development?

GI Suicide: Maybe It’s the Job?

Once the soldier leaves the service he becomes a stat for the VA…..let’s look at those issues as well….

Veteran health care and specifically veteran mental health is a severe problem in this nation. The Department of Veterans Affairs has over 150 hospitals nationwide and over 2,000 community-based outpatient clinics.

Still, 20 veterans each day lose their lives to suicide — a number that has not changed for almost a decade.

The same number of suicides occur each day despite billions of dollars being funded to the VA through Congress to hire mental health clinicians, develop and implement programs and services, and increase awareness and provide education to veterans.

https://www.stripes.com/news/veterans/veteran-suicide-is-not-just-military-issue-1.585829

This one issue is so sad for it is the easiest to help…..the VA needs to be more in-tuned to the needs to vets and stop playing politics with the rest of the toads in DC.

Our veterans deserve the best care money can buy….not bargain basement pseudo-science that the deficit hawks would have them treated with……we need to do better…..much better.

Now the hardest hit group by suicide is Trump supporters……

In 2017, 47,173 Americans killed themselves. In that single year, in other words, the suicide count was nearly seven times greater than the number of American soldiers killed in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars between 2001 and 2018.

A suicide occurs in the United States roughly once every 12 minutes. What’s more, after decades of decline, the rate of self-inflicted deaths per 100,000 people annually — the suicide rate — has been increasing sharply since the late 1990s. Suicides now claim two-and-a-half times as many lives in this country as do homicides, even though the murder rate gets so much more attention.

A Deadly Epidemic Is Hitting Trump Supporters the Hardest

Then there is the info about Native American women…

Suicide rates for Native Americans have been rising faster than any other group, a new CDC analysis says: 139% for women and 71% for men since 1999. Experts say poverty, substance abuse, unemployment, and lack of access to mental health care are all contributing factors, USA Today reports. For the US overall, suicide is up 33% in the same period. A 2018 report from the CDC listed the suicide rate non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaska Natives was more than 3.5 times higher than the incidence among racial and ethnic groups with the lowest rates.

Maybe now would be a good time to make mental health a priority…..and spend less time debating semantics.

Just A Thought!

Suicide…The Other “S” Word

There is never good news when I read about a suicide…this time it is an American serving in Israel…..(do not get me started on that deal….the serving not the suicide)……

A 19-year-old American woman serving as a combat soldier in the Israeli army died by suicide last week.

Michaela Levit, 19, is the third Israeli “lone soldier” to die by suicide this year. Lone soldiers are largely expatriates who serve in the Israel Defense Forces while their parents live overseas.

Levit, whose parents reside in Miami, moved to Israel in 2017 and served in a mixed-gender combat battalion.

The Israeli military and soldiers’ advocates denied reports of a “worrying trend” of rising suicide rates among the lone soldiers following two suicides and a deadly drug overdose this year. 

The report I read states that there is a rise in suicides among young girls……

Boys are still more likely to kill themselves than girls are, but a new study has found a change in the established patterns, CNN reports. Suicide rates among girls are climbing faster. An analysis of a database run by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that, starting in 2007, the suicide rate for girls age 10 to 14 rose 12.7% per year, compared with 7.1% for boys the same age. For those age 15 to 19, the rate went up 7.9% for girls and 3.5% for boys, said the study, published Friday in JAMA. Suicide is the No. 2 cause of death among those 10 to 19 years old, per the CDC, after accidents and unintentional injuries. Rates of suicide have historically been higher for boys than girls across all age groups, and that remains the case now.

And boys age 15 to 19 still kill themselves with guns much more often than girls do. But girls employ hanging and suffocation in rates nearing those of boys. “What we’re seeing is alarming,” says Donna Ruch, one of the study’s authors, per Time. “On top of the fact that females are thinking about suicide more and attempting suicide more, now they’re actually completing suicide.” The reasons aren’t clear, but the findings illustrate the need for gender-specific suicide prevention strategies, Ruch says. An accompanying editorial also questions whether the rise of social media is playing a role, reports Bloomberg.

It is sad when a young person is so desperate that they think suicide is the only answer….

I sincerely wish there was an easy answer but there is not……we need to do more with our mental health policies and maybe we could help some of these young people before it is too late…..maybe not in Israel but in this country.

To Help Our Veterans

I have been very critical of our president in the past……I will have to give him his props on one subject…..Veterans.

He has given them lots of lip service in the past but has shown little truly concern for their welfare….that is until yesterday…..

President Trump signed an executive order Tuesday aimed at stemming a persistently high number of veteran suicides, urging expanded outreach by awarding grants to community programs. The order creates a Cabinet-level task force that will seek to develop a national roadmap for suicide prevention, bringing in state and local organizations to raise awareness among the high-risk group. It directs the task force led by Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie to finalize a plan in 12 months, the AP reports. “Veterans suicide is a tragedy of staggering proportions,” Trump said at a signing ceremony surrounded by military families and veterans’ organizations. “Today we can help end this crisis.”

He said the problem of veteran suicide can only be solved if the entire country works together to build communities that support and protect veterans from the first moment they return to civilian life. “They courageously fulfill their duties to our nation, now we must fulfill our duties to them,” Trump said. Currently, about 20 veterans die by suicide each day, about 1.5 times higher than those who haven’t served in the military. The government says about 14 of those 20 were not under VA care, pointing to a need for improved outreach. According to the White House, the new task force will look to create a grant system similar to the Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing program, which provides funding to state and local programs. The effort, which is being dubbed the PREVENTS Initiative, will also aim to better coordinate research on suicide prevention across agencies, including Veterans Affairs, Defense and Homeland Security. PREVENTS stands for “President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide.”

I hope this is a real effort to help and not some “feel good” order.

I think we can save a bunch of money by admitting that war is the biggest contributor to the causes of vet suicides….end these worthless endless wars and the suicide rate may go down.

But DC will do what DC always does…..stretch this out for maximum cash outlay and issue a report that will not change a goddamn thing.

Death By Gun

Closing Thought–24Jan19

NO! This is not intended an anti-gun post…this is continuing with my series on suicide….I am sure that some will want to tie this into my statements from the past…but it is intended as info not oppo……

I have been watching the different suicide rates in the US from farmers to vets to military and now the youth of the nation…..

But first just a reminder of the series…….

https://lobotero.com/2014/09/03/older-vets-committing-suicide-at-alarming-rate-military-com/

https://lobotero.com/2015/04/02/military-suicides-arent-linked-to-deployment-study-finds/

https://lobotero.com/2015/04/02/veterans-suicide/

https://lobotero.com/2018/07/27/closing-thought-27jul18/

That was a quick tour of my thoughts on these suicides…..

This report on the startling amount of suicides among the nation’s young….suicide with guns involved…..

Suicide rates among U.S. children and teens have hit startling rates and a study now finds one clear predictor of youth suicide: gun ownership.

Youth suicides rates are higher in states with high gun ownership rates, a team at Boston University School of Public Health found.

“Household gun ownership was the single biggest predictor of youth suicide rate in a state,” Dr. Michael Siegel, a public health specialist at BU, told NBC News.

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/state-state-study-links-gun-ownership-youth-suicide-n959946

Again mental health has been ignored for too long….time for some sort of major change in the thinking of those that make the rules.

Closing Thought–14Dec18

Today I must go to the hospital and let the doctors poke and prod….so this should be it for the day and I shall return tomorrow…..but tomorrow is my wife’s day with her cardio doctors…..so another light posting day as well.

I have written here on IST many times about the problem of suicide with our active duty service people and our Veterans…..there are many different approaches to try and curb this spiraling problem…..

The mounting toll of military suicides since 2003 — an intractable problem highlighted again Friday with a murder-suicide at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland — has surpassed the number of troops killed in Iraq.

The latest Pentagon statistics on suicides in all service branches, combined with previously-released data compiled by the San Antonio Express-News, brought the total to 4,839 for the years 2003 through 2015. In the same period, 4,496 American were lost serving in Iraq.

https://www.expressnews.com/news/local/amp/Suicides-in-military-since-2003-now-exceed-U-S-7237308.php

The military now has a novel approach for active duty personnel to try and head off this in advance……

The U.S. Army‘s top official said Thursday that he wants to see sergeants making regular visits to the barracks on weekends to help reduce the number of soldiers who die by suicide.

Suicide is a problem that every service struggles to prevent. In calendar year 2017, 509 U.S. military personnel died by suicide, according to Defense Department numbers. Of that number, the Army suffered 298 deaths by suicide across the active duty, National Guard and Reserve.

“It’s a tragedy that we have suicide in our ranks, but it’s coming into our ranks from society writ large,” Army Secretary Mark Esper told an audience at the American Enterprise Institute. “Every week, I am signing letters to families offering my condolences for soldiers who have taken their lives.”

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2018/11/08/army-wants-sergeants-barracks-weekends-prevent-suicides.html

Something needs to be done for this problem….but I think this approach is a band-aid for a sucking chest wound…..I do not think that this approach will do much to lessen the attempts of suicide to be honest…..

Anyone have anything they would like to add?