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What can be done to tackle military suicide?

What can be done to tackle military suicide?
11th September 2012

Suicide is a problem facing many militaries across the world and tackling the issue can be difficult. However, a new US study has suggested several new strategies to help to lower the number of soldiers taking their own lives.

Dr Timothy Lineberry, a Mayo Clinic psychiatrist and suicide expert for the US Army, claims that greater use of gun locks, improved primary care for mental health and better monitoring of sleep disturbances are just some of the key steps that can be taken to address military suicides.

"The potential effect on service members of their war experiences may manifest indefinitely into the future in the form of emerging psychiatric illnesses," he said. Therefore, it is vital that plans are in place to limit the fall-out.

A change in military culture could also be integral to increasing the attention paid to mental illness and ensuring effective strategies are implemented.

Currently, depression and other such illnesses are often viewed as a taboo, meaning there is an unwillingness to come forward with problems.

This leads to feelings of isolation and the escalation of mental health issues, which can often lead to suicide. By making the condition understood and accepted in militaries, the opportunities for intervention may increase.

Read about support and personalised care at Barchester care homes for anyone with mental health concerns.