Deployment Factors Are Not Related to Rise in Military Suicides, Study Finds

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In the largest study of its kind, military medical researchers have concluded that deployments to war zones and exposure to combat were not major factors behind a significant increase in suicides among military personnel from 2001 to 2008, according to a paper published on Tuesday.

The study, published online by The Journal of the American Medical Association, corroborates what many military medical experts have been saying for years: that the forces underlying the spike in military suicides are similar to those in the civilian world. They include mental illness, substance abuse, and financial and relationship problems.

….“We so often just link military suicide to combat trauma,” said Kim Ruocco, the director of postvention for TAPS. “But there are many others: long hours, separation from supports systems, sleeplessness. All are stressors. All add to increases in mental health issues.”

By James Dao, The New York Times

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