As suicides rise, US military seeks to address mental health

today10/10/2022 62

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Rising suicide rates among active service members have forced the Pentagon to review the military’s mental health protocols.

But many service members in crisis still fear coming forward and admitting they need help. And those who do seek that help often find themselves fighting through deep-rooted stigma surrounding mental health issues, bureaucratic obstacles and internal pressure to stay on the job. The Pentagon has created an independent committee to review the military’s mental health and suicide prevention programs.

At the same time, a network of military-adjacent charitable organizations has tried to fill the gaps with a variety of programs and outreach efforts.


PHOTO INFO: Dionne Williamson, of Patuxent River, Md., grooms Woody before her riding lesson at Cloverleaf Equine Center in Clifton, Va., Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022. After finishing a tour in Afghanistan in 2013, Williamson felt emotionally numb. She eventually found stability through a monthlong hospitalization and a therapeutic program that incorporates horseback riding. But she had to fight for years to get the help she needed. “It’s a wonder how I made it through,” she said. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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