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Soldier Suicide Rate Nearing All-Time High

The Washington Post is reporting today that the suicide rate among active duty soldiers is on pace to pass last year’s all-time high of 18.1 suicides per 100,000 soldiers. If this rate continues, it will be the first time since the Vietnam War that the soldiers’ suicide rate has exceeded the suicide rate of the general American population—19.5 per 100,000. It’s a heart-breaking commentary on the catastrophic execution of this war that the soldiers in our all-volunteer military are killing themselves at the same rate as the Vietnam-era’s heavily drafted force. The Army is taking new measures to help soldiers cope. From the article:
The latest Army prevention efforts include the hiring of hundreds of new mental health providers, the production of an interactive video on the subject, to be released this fall, and the introduction of an intervention program aimed at teaching junior Army leaders not only suicidal symptoms but actions that can prevent suicides. The ACE program includes handing out laminated cards decorated with the ace of hearts that advise three steps — “ask,” “care” and “escort” — that spell “ACE”: Ask your buddy direct questions such as “Are you thinking of killing yourself?”; care for your buddy by taking away weapons; and escort your buddy to a military chaplain or health provider. “Take away the weapon if someone is playing Russian roulette with it. . . . Unfortunately, people have not always done that,” said Brig. Gen. Rhonda Cornum, the Army’s assistant surgeon general for force protection. Army prevention programs to this point have not trained soldiers adequately in what to do after they learn a comrade is in crisis, she added. Another measure that Cornum said has proven effective is for Army commanders in combat zones to take a more “humanistic” approach and to return soldiers home so they can deal with personal crises and thereby “live another day to keep serving.”
Here’s an idea: end the war.


10 Books to Curl Up With This Winter

William Wordsworth was right when he said, “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” Nevertheless, the cold, dark days of winter can still get the best of even Nature’s most tenderhearted admirer. What’s one to do? We here at Chelsea Green have concocted the perfect cabin fever remedy with our suggested winter reading […] Read More..

Top 8 Chelsea Green Books the Self-Styled Oregon Militia Should Read

The ongoing armed militia occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon is showing no signs of ending — so, rather than send them snacks, or sex toys, we had an idea: Send them a book! Better yet, send them several Chelsea Green books. Don’t worry, we’ve picked five key titles that we think […] Read More..

Author David Stroh: First Steps to Becoming a Systems Thinker

Systems thinking is often seen as something relegated to scientific and business analysis – economics, resource depletion, and climate. However, Systems Thinking for Social Change focuses on how to use systems thinking to make breakthrough progress on intransigent social problems. We asked author David Stroh how this approach can make an impact, and how readers […] Read More..

Use Systems Thinking to Make Lasting Social Change

What can be done when our best intentions create unintended problems—such as temporary shelters increasing homelessness or food aid accelerating starvation?After decades of helping change-makers in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors address tough social problems, systems-thinking expert David Stroh shares the pioneering framework that both demystifies systems thinking and shows how it can lead […] Read More..

Let’s Make Bernie Sanders a Bestseller!

As the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders continues to climb in the polls, crushing online fundraising records and frustrating party insiders and pundits along the way, we’re looking to put Bernie’s message on bestseller lists everywhere in time for the national debates this fall!With the second Democratic debate to be held on November 14th in Des Moines, it’s […] Read More..
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