David Earl Johnson, LICSW

2 minute read

CBS has followed up on a study last March that I wrote about here. CBS sought to fill the void for available statistics from the VA. The sad story is that suicide is a much more common outcome than most think for all kinds of trauma. Combine that with a culture that sees emotion as weakness, we have a set up for our young soldiers. Trauma survivors have a painful road before then can find recovery. Prolonged exposure treatment is one of the few approached that has shown reliable outcomes. In other words, reliving the trauma until the intensity of symptoms subside is the best path to health. CBS News

“In 2005, for example, in just those 45 states, there were at least 6,256 suicides among those who served in the armed forces. That’s 120 each and every week, in just one year. Dr. Steve Rathbun is the acting head of the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department at the University of Georgia. CBS News asked him to run a detailed analysis of the raw numbers that we obtained from state authorities for 2004 and 2005. It found that veterans were more than twice as likely to commit suicide in 2005 than non-vets. (Veterans committed suicide at the rate of between 18.7 to 20.8 per 100,000, compared to other Americans, who did so at the rate of 8.9 per 100,000.) One age group stood out. Veterans aged 20 through 24, those who have served during the war on terror. They had the highest suicide rate among all veterans, estimated between two and four times higher than civilians the same age. (The suicide rate for non-veterans is 8.3 per 100,000, while the rate for veterans was found to be between 22.9 and 31.9 per 100,000.) “

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