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The Pentagon’s fight against suicide could be making things worse

I’ve been thinking a lot about suicide lately. No, that’s not a suicidal ideation, it’s just what I’ve been thinking about. One of my good friends, the last person I ever thought would fall victim to the scourge of suicide, killed himself. The one guy I knew, who would have stayed up for days to talk someone else out of suicide, ended up doing it himself.

I can’t figure it out. Any one of the dozens of people he had helped over the years would have come to his aid if only he had asked. But he didn’t.


I thought about writing a column about how badly that bummed me out, but that’s been done a dozen times. Suicide is awful. If you think you’re doing your friends and family a favor by killing yourself, you’re not. It really sucks for them. Discussing that isn’t exactly breaking new ground.

I thought about writing about how you need to seek help if you’re depressed. That’s true, especially if you’ve thought about killing yourself. Call 800-273-TALK. That’s not a revelation. Every service member probably has a half-dozen refrigerator magnets from safety stand downs with mental health hotline numbers on them.

I thought about doing 22 pushups and posting the video on Facebook to help prevent veteran suicide. No, I didn’t. That’s complete bullshit.

That said, military leadership (I almost said “the best minds in the military”) has been racking its collective mind trying to figure out a solution to the problem of suicide among both veterans and active duty service members and getting nowhere.

To be sure, those groups have very different problems. Contrary to popular conception, the veterans most prone to commit suicide aren’t recently discharged vets with PTSD and the like, but men in their …read more

Read more here:: Task & Purpose

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