(PRWEB) August 18, 2012
Community organizations, churches, and non-profits can make a big difference in the military’s war on suicide, says faith-based website, followme.org.
That statement came today as the military last week released a startling statistic: that the number of suicides by American soldiers in the month of July was the highest it has been since 9/11.
According to the Pentagon, 38 soldiers are suspected of having killed themselves in July, Time reported last week. That amounts to a 117 percent jump from June’s count of 12 suicides and a 50 percent increase from the average number of suicides in the last 18 months, the Time report said.
The statistics have the Pentagon searching for clues, as suicides have spiked since 2005, despite the end of the Iraq War and a phasing out in Afghanistan, Time reported. If the current trajectory continues, the Washington Post reports, the Army will lose 200 active-duty soldiers this year.
One military expert argues that these new findings point to a deeper problem in military culture. "The culture does not make it easy to get help," Frank Ochberg, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Michigan State University, told the Washington Post.
What can communities do to respond to this “enemy from within”? Followme.org is a faith-based website that provides resources for families facing the threat of military suicide. Today, the faith-based website issued this statement regarding the military’s startling findings:
“We at followme.org were shocked and dismayed to discover the extent of the suicide epidemic in our nation’s military. We extend our thoughts and prayers to those affected by the military’s most seditious enemy, suicide. But these statistics are not just the military’s problem, to be addressed by military experts and military psychiatrists.
“Rather, churches, community organizations, and non-profits need to proactively respond to the epidemic of suicide in our nation’s military. We, the members of these soldiers’ communities, need to be ready to reach out to soldiers returning from war, aware of the multifaceted enemies they may be facing—whether spiritually, emotionally, or psychologically. Followme.org believes that churches and community organizations cannot afford to be left out of the equation for healing our nation’s warriors, and we stand with our valiant soldiers.”
For more information, visit followme.org.