POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS STUDY FINDS HIGH RATE OF SUICIDAL THOUGHTS AMONG SOLDIERS WHO DON'T GET MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING

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Shocking numbers could be even higher if veterans were included

 

January 25, 2011 – Results of a new study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry have found that 93 percent of soldiers contemplated suicide when they went without aggressive mental counseling in a controlled group.

 

Results of the study, conducted by the Army on 20,000 soldiers in Iraq, shows that 54 percent fewer soldiers contemplated suicide and the number of soldiers who needed to be sent home with mental health problems dropped by nearly 70 percent with more aggressive counseling in the field.

 

Stay Strong Nation, a non-profit organization working to help veterans and former service personnel cope with Post-Traumatic Stress/Traumatic Brain Injury (PTS/TBI), says study results would be even more shocking if it included veterans and former military service personnel.

 

While Stay Strong Nation applauds any efforts to curb mental health problems in soldiers currently serving, the organization has issued a press release pleading for more help to the current roster of vets who already suffer from PTSD and other mental health illnesses as a result of previous combat duties. The group is currently on a nationwide mission to raise funding to construct a $20 million research and treatment facility in Hawaii that will offer much-needed help to veterans and former service personnel in dire need of assistance.

 

“Former troops and veterans alike have been hardened by the experiences of combat and many don’t realize they have severe cases of PTSD,” said Gresford Lewishall, Vice President of the Stay Strong Nation. “Unfortunately, veterans turn to alcohol and drugs as a way to cope but we’re going to deliver a better way of offering the help they need and deserve through our treatment program.”

 

In the survey conducted by the Army, more aggressive counseling can reduce by 80 percent the number of troops who develop behavioral illness during combat. Stay Strong Nation believes a similarly staggering number represents veterans with suicidal thoughts. In addition to the treatment facility the group is working with Dr. Joseph Prendergast to develop better treatments that allow veterans to actually reduce the number of prescription medications they’re currently taking.

 

The Stay Strong Nation is a community of volunteers whose mission is to educate and raise awareness of the dangers of Post-Traumatic Stress/Traumatic Brain Injury (PTS/TBI) and its adverse effects on current and former military service personnel. In addition to educational literature and city tours, the organization is preparing a study on PTS/TBI using a promising product called ProArgi-9 Plus, and raising funds to build a $20 million rehabilitation facility in Maui, Hawaii, to help affected service personnel cope and heal from PTS/TBI. For more information please visit StayStrongNation.org.
 


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