Study Suggests No Combat and Suicide Link
Related Videos
Popular
Most Recent
Most Viewed

Description


As the Pentagon struggles to stem a rising number of suicides in the force, a new study suggests combat appears to have no influence on suicide rates among troops and veterans. AP National Security Correspondent Sagar Meghani reports. (Aug. 6)

Transcript


SHOTLIST:AP -- AP CLIENTS ONLYExact date and location unknown1. Various of US combat troops in AfghanistanWashington -- August 6, 20132. SOUNDBITE; Dr. Charles Hoge, Study Co-Author3. Wide of Hoge4. SOUNDBITE; Dr. Charles Hoge, Study Co-AuthorExact date and location unknown5. Various of US combat troops in AfghanistanWashington -- August 6, 20136. SOUNDBITE; Dr. Charles Hoge, Study Co-AuthorExact date and location unknown7. Various of US combat troops in AfghanistanVOICEOVER SCRIPT:A RECENT SPIKE IN THE MILITARY SUICIDE RATE HAS RAISED CONCERNS ABOUT A POSSIBLE LINK BETWEEN WAR DEPLOYMENTS AND TROOPS TAKING THEIR OWN LIVES. A NEW PENTAGON STUDY APPEARS TO QUESTION CONVENTIONAL THINKING ABOUT HOW WAR CAN AFFECT THE PSYCHESOUNDBITE: Dr. Charles Hoge, retired Army psychiatrist, study co-author WDC SUICIDE INTV 1130 11:40:50"It doesn't completely rule out that there are military factors that contribute, but it doesn't point specifically to combat or deployment as being a risk factor."RETIRED ARMY PSYCHIATRIST CHARLES HOGE CO-WROTE THE STUDY WHICH FOR THE FIRST TIME SAMPLED THE ENTIRE MILITARY POPULATION -- ACTIVE-DUTY AND RETIRED -- OVER SEVERAL YEARS. SOUNDBITE: Dr. Charles Hoge, retired Army psychiatrist, study co-author WDC SUICIDE INTV 1130 11:37:32"What we found in the study was that the underlying mental disorders primarily were the risk factors that predicted suicide most strongly in this study, particularly depression but also bi-polar disorder and alcohol problems." ECHOING RESULTS OF SMALLER STUDIES FOCUSING ON A SPECIFIC MILITARY BRANCH. ANOTHER STUDY AUTHOR SAYS AS THE SUICIDE RATE INCREASED, SO DID THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS SERVING IN THE MILITARY, THOUGH IT'S UNCLEAR WHY. HOGE SAYS THE PENTAGON'S BEEN PUSHING HARD FOR TROOPS WHO NEED IT TO GET TREATMENT, ASSURING THEM IT'S NOT A SIGN OF WEAKNESS. BUT MANY STILL DON'T SEEK HELP. SOUNDBITE: Dr. Charles Hoge, retired Army psychiatrist, study co-author WDC SUICIDE INTV 1130 11:44:30 "Despite all of these efforts, stigma has not changed as much as we would like it to change."ANOTHER EXPERT NOT AFFILIATED WITH THE STUDY SAYS IT PROVIDES ONLY A SNAPSHOT AND DOESN'T ANSWER WHETHER COMBAT EXPOSURE ACTUALLY INCREASES LIFETIME SUICIDE RISKS IN VULNERABLE PEOPLE.SAGAR MEGHANI, ASSOCIATED PRESS, THE PENTAGON