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Suicides

Berenguei

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There was an article today in ''Le Journal de Montréal''. You'll find the link right here:

http://cf.news.yahoo.com/s/25072006/3/national-de-plus-en-plus-de-suicides.html

Roughly, the article refers to the suicide rate for soldiers coming back from deployments. They also brush on PDSS and the position of the CF on the matter.

So let it rip bros...what do you think about the article, but more important, its content.

B.
 

The_Falcon

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charlesm said:
Does anyone know of an English Translation for this article?

if you search for the article in google, you can get the option to translate the page.  There are web translators, they are crude, but you get the gist of whatever it is being translated.
 

The Anti-Royal

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". . . [t]hey also brush on PDSS and . . ."

Do you mean PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)?  PDSS, if I remember correctly, is the acronym for Persons of Designated Special Status.
 

Berenguei

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Oops...sorry. Yep, that's what I had in mind. Being french Canadian, I tried my very best translation as far as acronyms goes...screwed up.

Sorry about that fellas !
 

NiTz

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I'm sorry for the big post, but there's the translation (from me)

The suicide rate in the Canadian Forces has gone from 1 for 8000 soldiers in 1990 to 1 for 4000 in 2004.
This is, at least, what the Journal de Montréal reports in it's Tuesday's edition.
According to this newspaper, who consulted highly censored documents obtained with the Information access law, 184 soldiers attempted to their lives since 1990. Among them, more than 1/3 were back from a peacekeeping mission overseas.
The official information indicates at least 10 suicides and around 60 attempts. These numbers remain constant but the number of regular force members don't stop decreasing, going from 88000 members to 52000 members in 15 years, and the number of missions is always increasing. The currently serving military personnel is then deployed more often.
The Press has recently revealed that the number of psychiatric troubles, mostly PTSD and depression, has got an increase of 400% in 5 years.
The Press investigation has attributed this realty to the missions, that are always increasing in number, and that are always more dangerous.
Internal notes form the DND, obtained by Le journal de Montréal, indicates that the number of suicides and attempts that are declared in the statistics are only the top of the iceberg.
Most of the cases would not be reported or are not investigated by the military police.

I hope the translation is good enough... have a nice day!

Cheers !

Nitz
 

GO!!!

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Lies, damn lies and statistics.

You can twist these numbers any way you like, but the spike Psych problems, IMHO are largely due to the active searching for them by an ever growing psychiatric medicine arm within the CF.

The "councilling" that soldiers get now is almost geared to telling them that they are sick if they don't have a problem and of course, there is always the issue of those who exagerate problems in an effort to get a pension.

I believe (and I'm sure someone here will disagree) that the psychiatric medicine arm is engaged in a massive "make work" project here, and that suicide rates within the CF bear little difference from the civilian populace - which is a normal thing, because we are supposed to represent the Canadian population - right?
 
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17thRecceSgt

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GO!!! said:
Lies, damn lies and statistics.

You can twist these numbers any way you like, but the spike Psych problems, IMHO are largely due to the active searching for them by an ever growing psychiatric medicine arm within the CF.

The "councilling" that soldiers get now is almost geared to telling them that they are sick if they don't have a problem and of course, there is always the issue of those who exagerate problems in an effort to get a pension.

I believe (and I'm sure someone here will disagree) that the psychiatric medicine arm is engaged in a massive "make work" project here, and that suicide rates within the CF bear little difference from the civilian populace - which is a normal thing, because we are supposed to represent the Canadian population - right?

Is there anything you AREN'T an expert in??  :boring:
 

GO!!!

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Mud Recce Man said:
Is there anything you AREN'T an expert in??   :boring:

I'm not an expert, hence the use of terms like In My Humble Opinion and "I believe" which denote my opinions and thoughts on the matter, respectively. If you require further clarification, feel free to ask.

Also, I have great difficulty with concepts such as;

-trigonometry;
-creationism;
-being a crusty army NCO with stalker tendencies who likes to bully troops on naval bases, probably due to a lack of work.

Do you know anyone who could help me learn these things?  :-*
 

Berenguei

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The link that I provided is a short version of the article. In the paper itself, there were two pages on this topic.

Part of it were quotes by some of these soldiers that commited suicide. I remember especially the one about humans crucified to the wall or a baby being forced out of the belly of a pregnant mother by rebels and killing it right in front of the mother.

I guess you have to live these things to understand how these images stay with you, and perhaps it is plausible that some soldiers cannot go on living with these images haunting them forever, making suicide the only option.

War can have this side effect, I guess. It's a fact, PTSD just as well. For all of us who never had to see attrocities as described above, may be we should respect our fellow soldiers who did and not disregard what these men are going through.
 

GO!!!

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Berenguei,

I'm not belittling the experiences of traumatised CF members, but the fact remains, a portion of the population, and a portion of the CF will try to kill themselves, even in peacetime - this is a statistical certainty.

I
 

HItorMiss

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I tend to agree with GO, I think you will find when comparing are statistics to any other "micro" society within Canada you'll find that our averages are on par if not below that of the others. I like to believe that we as a whole thanks to many aspects and screening within our training system makes us more capable of dealing mentally with some of the things we see. I am not saying were invulnerable or that we don't from time to time have our issues ( hell I still have nightmares from time to time) but I think our capacity for mental stress and trauma is higher.

Again this is all IMHO
 

Berenguei

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GO!!! said:
Berenguei,

I'm not belittling the experiences of traumatised CF members, but the fact remains, a portion of the population, and a portion of the CF will try to kill themselves, even in peacetime - this is a statistical certainty.

I

I'm sorry if you felt my reply was directed to you GO...that was certainly not my intention. It's just that some people in the military has the super-hero/untouchable type of personalities that cannot accept that some soldiers had it rough...and that's a flat-out wrong attitude to have. Soldiers are touchable, but that doesn't diminish in any shape or form the fact that we are the best soldiers in the world.

You're right...16 cases out of 45 000 thousands, that's 0.0003 ! trust me...you won't find these numbers in the original article.

Later bros',

Berenguei
 

pbi

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Most of the cases would not be reported or are not investigated by the military police.

This line should be an immediate indication of the bias of the article. Just think about this statement for a second. A soldier kills himself and:

a) if he is a RegF soldier, the MPs neither investigate nor receive a report from the civil police? (if the soldier lived off base...);

b) if he is a Res soldier who has completed his active duty and kills himself, the unit obtains no information from the civil police?;

c) no Significant Incident Report is done?;

d) neither the family nor the local media say anything?

While I am sure that such rare exceptional cases may have occurred, IMHO they are just that: rare and exceptional,  and would not serve to raise the statistics very much.

As other posters have pointed out, without a proper statistical comparison to figures from comparable groups in society, the statistics don't really say much except that apparently some of us, after being exposed to the kinds of things that we are exposed to as soldiers, tragically can not deal with it, and end up taking our own lives. Is that a surprise, or is it just a very sad reality?

What is the real intent here: to suggest that we are all a bunch of ticking time bombs?

Cheers
 

reccecrewman

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In 1998, there were 3,699 suicides reported in Canada as cause of death.  That makes the ratio 12.2/100,000.  By the Journal de Montreal's figure of 1 suicide per 4,000 members of CF, we more than double the National suicide rate. (My figures are from the Public Health Agency of Canada)

In any rate - I'd say that the personnel serving in the CF are under a great deal more stress than the majority of average Canadians.  In any event, I'd hardly call 1 in 4,000 an epidemic and I'm sure that there are many other groups in Canada who also carry a high suicide rate.

Regards

 

m410

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reccecrewman said:
In 1998, there were 3,699 suicides reported in Canada as cause of death.  That makes the ratio 12.2/100,000.  By the Journal de Montreal's figure of 1 suicide per 4,000 members of CF, we more than double the National suicide rate. (My figures are from the Public Health Agency of Canada)

In any rate - I'd say that the personnel serving in the CF are under a great deal more stress than the majority of average Canadians.  In any event, I'd hardly call 1 in 4,000 an epidemic and I'm sure that there are many other groups in Canada who also carry a high suicide rate.

Regards
There are some causation issues.  Are military personnel more prone to suicide, or are those prone to suicide more likely to be in the military?  The military is devoid of those under 16 and over 55, and is perhaps 85% male.  I'd wager that the suicide rate for men between 16 and 54 is over 12.2/100,000.
 

reccecrewman

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Well, by the Public Health Agency of Canada;

Mortality rate for suicide in Canadian men is 4x that of Canadian women;

Individuals between 15-44 years of age account for a whopping 73% of hospital admissions for attempted suicide;

2,158 of 1998's 3,699 suicides were 15-44 years of age.

So, m410, I would say you raise a VERY valid point in your post when pointing out that the CF is predominately males who fall into that age bracket.
 

m410

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Swish!  I knew 6 years of university would come in handy some day.  :D
 

Danjanou

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m410 said:
Swish!   I knew 6 years of university would come in handy some day.  :D

Only two more to go and that BA is yours eh ;D

Seriously the point you make is the crucial factor here in showing why the suicde rate in the CF is slightly and be honest it's only slightly higher than the national average. I would wager that a similar study of Firemen, LEOs and EMS types would probably also show higher than the norms, and for the same reasdons their demographics are similar in terms of ages and gender, as well as the obvious high stress nature of the job.

However don't count on any main stream media actually noting that little statistical blip in their articles. It might serve to lower the sensationalism of the piece and can't have that now can we. ::)
 

reccecrewman

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Also, how many suicides in the CF can be directly attributed to spouses?  For example............ Husband (or wife - could go either way) deploys on 3rd tour in 4 years, wife decides she can't handle being left alone so much.  There's the actual deployment and all the exercises in between, TMST training and so forth and she realizes that for the past xxx number of years, she's basically been alone anyways - so she packs it in and takes the kids with him.  This is just an example, but marital woes I would guess are a big part of suicide in the CF.  The inevitable money issues that follow the divorce, custody of the kids PLUS doing the job of a soldier could get a little overwhelming.  This is strictly my guess, but if someone were to ask me, I would probably venture to say that the divorce rate in the CF is also higher than the national average. Food for thought.

Regards
 
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