The Army has chosen to address the increasing amount of suicides among active duty soldiers and veterans. While every military branch has their own suicide prevention and treatment program, there is a common problem among all of them: it is unclear which programs work and which do not. In an attempt to find an answer to that problem, the Army is funding a $17 million research project. The money will be split evenly between the Denver Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Hospital and the Florida State University.
The research project will last 3 years. In that time, the team of researchers employed to perform the study will look into many facets of suicide and suicide prevention. Their work will begin by reviewing previous studies that have been conducted worldwide. These studies will form the foundation of a database. This will provide other people, including those in charge of operating suicide-prevention programs, the ability to review what has worked and what has not worked.
This project will not end the disturbing trend of suicides among soldiers and veterans. What it will provide, however, is a strong starting point for further research. Policymakers will have immediate access to the database once it is completed.
Earlier this year the Army also funded a $50 million research project into mental health and suicides. This project is separate from that study as it serves a different purpose than creating the database. The size of the staff and the number of subjects in this project will vary, based on the topics identified as requiring research.
Over 1,100 soldiers committed suicide between 2005 and 2009. The quicker the database is constructed, the quicker the military can start utilizing the best suicide prevention and treatment techniques available.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact LaVan & Neidenberg. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.