Soldiers and Veterans suicides exceed Afghan toll

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by scouse, Jul 14, 2013.

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  1. BBC News - UK soldier and veteran suicides 'outstrip Afghan deaths'. The National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire honours the military casualties of every conflict since WWII. Also The names of soldiers who killed themselves in Afghanistan are engraved on the wall but those who took their own lives after returning home are not mentioned. Was a bit upset to read this bit of the article!!!!!
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2013
  2. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    The mental health aspect of warfare is very often overlooked by politicians and there is, without doubt a ticking timebomb in the coming years aftermath of the Afghanistan conflict.

    Because this item gets little coverage, there are many suffering from a history of mental health issues who wish to join the Armed Forces and simply do not appreciate the significance of the condition and the reason the rules are so stringently applied.
    Defence Analytical Services and Advice: UK Armed Forces Quarterly Mental Health Report
  3. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Any suicide as a result of combat stress/post-traumatic stress disorder is tragic, but the media comparison with deaths in conflict in Afghanistan is unnecessarily emotive or provocative. The MoD has quite correctly said that rates of suicide and PTSD within the serving military were lower than comparative rates in the civilian population.

    I am unaware of Panorama's agenda for their programme on the matter but I would not be surprised if they claim that not enough is being done for serving military personnel and veterans from recent conflicts, which I don't believe is the case. Many charities and mental health organisations are doing sterling work treating those with these issues, but regrettably they cannot save every person. But the suicide rate would be significantly higher if that support network was not available.

    I think a degree of context and perspective should be demonstrated before the Duty Driver signs for the keys to the collective Outrage Bus... :shock:
  4. Being technical, those who took their own lives once they returned to the UK did not die whilst deployed, hence no mention in the National Memorial Arboretum. Trying to sort out whose deaths are due to HERRICK and whose are due to something else would be very difficult.

    As SPB says, this looks a bit like Panorama trying to make a story out of nothing. Yes, every death should be looked at to see if it could have been prevented, but you cannot wrap every individual in cotton wool when they do what we expect them to do.

    This is one of the reasons we are so tight on who joins with a mental health background. A strong predictor of MH issues in the future is MH issues in the past.
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  5. My concern is not having your name scribed on the National Aboretum wall. You do not have to be deployed , to have your name on the wall. I know of quiet a few "accidents" of oppos whose names are on the wall !!!!!! Who died.... Abroad, and at Home, and on leave . So it is not right, to exclude suicide at home...rant over
  6. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    It is likely that the personnel you are referring to are included on the Roll of Honour but not on the Armed Forces Memorial, which: "[...] honours those members of the Armed Forces (Regular and Reserve) who were killed on duty while performing functions attributable to the special circumstances and requirements of the Armed Forces, or as a result of terrorist action, and those who died while deployed on designated operations."

    Tragic though the circumstances of suicide are, I cannot see how their names can be included according to that criteria (although they will be rememembered locally). I fail to see why you are angry about this? :?
  7. I am referring to the Armed forces Memorial wall at the Arboretum in my last post regarding "accidents ". I know for a fact !! and can confirm this
  8. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    So was I - the reference in my post was from their own website.

    It was commissioned for a specific purpose, as described in my post above. If it displayed the names of every person in the Armed Forces that had ever died from whatever cause, it would be exponentially massive. Again, why the outrage? :?
  9. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    To be honest, there seems to be a common misconception that anyone who goes to war is automatically a `hero`. I certainly wasn't, I was shit scared.

    Similarly anyone that goes to war and later tops themself, has not necessarily done so because they went to war - many don`t even hear a shot fired in anger.

    ...but anyone injured mentally in war and who is discharged because of it, is as much a casualty as anyone physically injured.

    Where it becomes more difficult to determine is when the individual leaves fully fit but later claims mental injury retrospectively. A difficult call due to the fact the injury cannot be seen and there are sadly callous fraudsters who capitalise on this fact, to the detriment of genuine sufferers.
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  10. But NS, a lot of people do not start to show signs/symptoms of MH problems until much later in life. I know some ex matlots whose problems only started after leaving the mob and if you go to any of the Combat Stress houses, you will find people who have only started getting MH problems 20 - 30 odd years after the incident itself.
  11. scouse. You make an understable and fair point but:

    Change HERRICK for any Op (or maybe even severe beastings during Service time) and that's one hell of a forensic investigation. Looking from a wider view, how many poor buggers die from heart conditions brought about by things they did in the mob day in, day out?
  12. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Yep that's why it is difficult to determine the cause. If it occurs many years later, as it clearly does, what is to say it's directly service attributed? Many civilians suffer mental health issues also and often there are multiple contributing factors.

    I'd not suggest it isn't service attributed, but unless it manifests itself and results in medical treatment (and often discharge) whilst serving, it is extremely difficult to determine what is the precise cause.
  13. My point was this.......L/Sgt Collins was a serving soldier at the time of his death on 1 January 2012 but his name will not be on the memorial. "It's heartbreaking because Daniel would have been so proud to have his name carved somewhere," said Mrs Collins. "Soldiers with PTSD are exactly the same. They're victims of war and they should be treated exactly the same." Quote. My original History post is now in CA...where I seldom ,or if ever post!!!!!!for the obvious reasons !!!!Now awaiting for the wisdom of SD:ncool: on this matter
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2013
  14. Because MH problems are kept hidden. Especially whilst serving and then when you come out it is still kept hidden, until some unrelated incident triggers it.
  15. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    And from a BBC news source about the same soldier:

    So, tragic though his death was, what else can the MOD do? And again, his death was not "in service, on operations" (according to the criteria established by the National Memorial Arboretum, as posted previously). Either way, RIP to Dan Collins and others who have passed away in similar circumstances.
  16. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

    Scouse, as others have said, where do you draw the line. During the early 1970's whilst a serving Police Officer I got to know several "Men of the Road" a number of whom were ex servicemen from WW2. Among them were two that stood out, one had been LRDG/SAS and the other had the MC from getting other crewmen out of his tank when it brewed up. (I was able to verify that both were as stated). Had dealing with these two several times and was able to do little things to help them (bed and breakfast at the nick on really bad nights etc.) Both subsequently died from the abuse of their systems through drink and rough living. There is no doubt in my mind that both had what would now be called PTSD brought on by their war time experiences, should they be included on any memorial?
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  17. There are plenty of different memorials at the NMA. They dont have to have their names on the 'wall'. What reason is there for not having one for those that have taken their own lives? Many people just need a focal point for their grief, hence the memorials for stillborn children for instance
  18. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Well feel free to petition a campaign for that to happen. I would support it, but I think it's futile.

    They already do -at their grave where they are buried or wherever their ashes are scattered.
  19. I'm not suggesting a campaign, I'm just saying why shouldn't there be one.

    There is already a memorial for stillborn children at the NMA, that's my point
  20. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

    Why not ring the people at NMA and ask their views, it would be a starting point.

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