What Is to Blame for the Spike in Army Suicides?

Unsettling news about Afghanistan today: the Army released its suicide data for the month of June. The deaths of 21 active soldiers and 11 reserve soldiers are being counted as suicides, raising this year's number to 145. At this rate, 2010 is on pace to become the worst year for suicides since the Vietnam War. The Army's response thus far has been to release a suicide prevention video called "Shoulder to Shoulder: I Will Never Quit on Life." 


Paul Reickhoff, the Executive Director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, urged the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense today to "declare war on this problem." Reickhoff told Big Think today that "untreated psychological injuries" have much to do with the spike in suicides. He also blamed the Army being stretched thin: "Troops are under a lot of stress because of multiple deployments. Many folks are going back three, four and five times, which takes a huge toll on the individual and the family."

Reickhoff has called for "a nationwide campaign to combat suicide and to promote the use of DOD and VA services such as Vet Centers and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline."  He said, "the Army’s new suicide prevention video is a good first step, but until there is a national campaign targeting every servicemember and veteran, many will continue to fall through the cracks." And President Obama, he added, needs to "be visible on this issue and lead a national call to action."

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

In a first for humankind, China successfully sprouts a seed on the Moon

China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.

Image source: CNSA
Surprising Science
  • China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
  • In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
  • The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Love in a time of migrants: on rethinking arranged marriages

Arranged marriages and Western romantic practices have more in common than we might think.

Culture & Religion

In his book In Praise of Love (2009), the French communist philosopher Alain Badiou attacks the notion of 'risk-free love', which he sees written in the commercial language of dating services that promise their customers 'love, without falling in love'.

Keep reading Show less