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Suicides

AbdullahD

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Coastalchaos said:
The sad but expected response.

Are their any employers who financially support the families of ones who commit suicide?

It is sad, but is it a burden that the Canadian forces should be expected to bear? Canada has systems in place to help people in a tough spot, yes, they may leave a lot to be desired.. but things exist for people to reach out and get. We also have social systems in place to make sure no one starves.. so how much burden should the Canadian forces bear? I prefer we bolster our mental health support for all Canadians, bolster our re training and access to education  for career changes, bolster our support for widowers, single parents, married couples trying to better themselves etc and leave the Canadian forces to do their job and only that when the Canadian forces get deployed, I want them to only care about us staying safe at home and able to pontificate from our computers online.. not worry about all this other stuff. Doesnt mean they won't or don't care, but let them do their job and let other departments take care of what they can or should.

Abdullah
 

Blackadder1916

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Coastalchaos said:
Does the military financially support the families of members who commit Suicide?

The quick and blunt answer, as previously stated, is NO perhaps to some extent.  The same is true for every member who dies while serving, regardless of cause of death.  While the military does not "financially support" families after members have died there are a number of insurance, pension and other benefits that may be available to survivors.
http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/caf-community-benefits-ill-injured-deceased/guide-toc.page
 

mariomike

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Saw this posted today in the gun politics discussion. Thought it perhaps best to reply here.

Jarnhamar said:
Did some quick checking, but it's tricky because there seems to be conflicting stats.

In one study I'm seeing that during the 1980s and 90s firearms and hanging were the leading 1st & 2nd (respectively) methods of suicide in Canada with a rate of around 13 cases per 100'000 people.

In the mid and later 2000s it appears that hanging (suffocation) and poisoning were the leading methods used, and the rate dropped to around 11 per 100k.

In nuvavut its between 60 and 70 suicides per 100k.

Other studies suggest that hanging and poisoning were always the leading cause of suicides in Canada.

Recalling what they sent us to, suicide by gun was one of the less frequent methods.

Jarnhamar said:
Two family members I've had commit suicide one was hanging and the other vehicular, the latter having access to firearms and ammunition.

Unless it was an older model death trap, I'm guessing  it was carbon-monoxide poisoning?

Although with the catalytic converters of today, far less carbon monoxide is produced.

Air bags, laminated and tempered glass, crumple zones, side impact protection beams, collapsible steering columns and padded dashboards etc. save lives. Car fires are also much less common, thanks to improved fuel system integrity and fire retardant materials.

In Toronto, most traffic fatalities these days are pedestrians.





 

Jarnhamar

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[quote author=mariomike]

Unless it was an older model death trap, I'm guessing  it was carbon-monoxide poisoning?

Although with the catalytic converters of today, far less carbon monoxide is produced.

Air bags, laminated and tempered glass, crumple zones, side impact protection beams, collapsible steering columns and padded dashboards etc. save lives. Car fires are also much less common, thanks to improved fuel system integrity and fire retardant materials.

In Toronto, most traffic fatalities these days are pedestrians.
[/quote]

Turned it into a 3000 pound bullet. Luckily he didn't kill anyone else. He easily could have (and almost did).
 

brihard

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Anecdotally, single vehicle/single occupant vehicle collisions, and drug overdoses are two suicide methods that frequently are not ruled as suicide due to ambiguity. A coroner will not rule suicide without absolute certainty.

There was another one yesterday morning- a British infantry vet now living in Saskatchewan posted a very brief note on social media very early in the morning and was found dead that morning. There was tragically little chance this time around for anyone to see it and to act in time, but it’s still hitting several people hard...

RCMP lost one in the past week as well.
 

AbdullahD

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Brihard said:
Anecdotally, single vehicle/single occupant vehicle collisions, and drug overdoses are two suicide methods that frequently are not ruled as suicide due to ambiguity. A coroner will not rule suicide without absolute certainty.

There was another one yesterday morning- a British infantry vet now living in Saskatchewan posted a very brief note on social media very early in the morning and was found dead that morning. There was tragically little chance this time around for anyone to see it and to act in time, but it’s still hitting several people hard...

RCMP lost one in the past week as well.

To many good men and women, crack under the pressure and take their lives it is a dang shame. May they both RIP.
 

daftandbarmy

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Brihard said:
Anecdotally, single vehicle/single occupant vehicle collisions, and drug overdoses are two suicide methods that frequently are not ruled as suicide due to ambiguity. A coroner will not rule suicide without absolute certainty.

There was another one yesterday morning- a British infantry vet now living in Saskatchewan posted a very brief note on social media very early in the morning and was found dead that morning. There was tragically little chance this time around for anyone to see it and to act in time, but it’s still hitting several people hard...

RCMP lost one in the past week as well.

A guy I know is a Doctor in the UK military who (informally) studied suicides. His theory is that suicides generally increased in correlation to the decrease in collective 'Mess Life' etc., probably around the early to mid-90s.

He proposed issuing buttons that said something like 'P!ss Up for Life'
 

brihard

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Watch this space. On Monday VAC’a gonna be releasing the 2018 update to the Veterans Suicide Mortality Study. The last one in 2017 had data to only 2012. When I grilled the department on this we were told the holdup was data from the provinces/territories, who collect death statistics. Hopefully they leaned on the provinces to get caught up on this and we can get data that brings us reasonably current. I anticipate that we’re going to see veteran suicide rates trending upwards for those that did not ‘complete’ a career, and that the cohort of Afghanistan-related medical releases since 2012 is going to have cause an increase in suicide numbers.

It friggin’ sucks to be expecting this... but as I’ve said whenever I get the chance, data drives policy. They will also on Monday be providing an update on the joint suicide prevention strategy.
 

daftandbarmy

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Brihard said:
Watch this space. On Monday VAC’a gonna be releasing the 2018 update to the Veterans Suicide Mortality Study. The last one in 2017 had data to only 2012. When I grilled the department on this we were told the holdup was data from the provinces/territories, who collect death statistics. Hopefully they leaned on the provinces to get caught up on this and we can get data that brings us reasonably current. I anticipate that we’re going to see veteran suicide rates trending upwards for those that did not ‘complete’ a career, and that the cohort of Afghanistan-related medical releases since 2012 is going to have cause an increase in suicide numbers.

It friggin’ sucks to be expecting this... but as I’ve said whenever I get the chance, data drives policy. They will also on Monday be providing an update on the joint suicide prevention strategy.

I assume they'll leave out the Reservists' stats, to make it look not as dire, like last time?
 

dapaterson

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They include Res stats that are available.  That said, in past studies, the number of Reservists was not high enough to be analyzed statistically (much as the number of female suicides is not high enough for analysis).
 

brihard

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daftandbarmy said:
I assume they'll leave out the Reservists' stats, to make it look not as dire, like last time?

Service data was derived from the CCPS pay system, meaning Reg force and any prior class C. I and others raised this issue. If it isn’t remedied in this version, I’ll raise it again Monday when we have senior members of the department on the phone in teleconference. At the same time, researchers will need a way to account for the fact that for most reservists with no deployed service, suicide is often going to be purely incidental, service / suicide is by no means a clear cut relationship.
 

Jarnhamar

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[quote author=Brihard] The last one in 2017 had data to only 2012.
[/quote]

When I was doing some quick research I noticed basically the same thing. Lots of data ended around 2010/2012.
 

daftandbarmy

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Brihard said:
Service data was derived from the CCPS pay system, meaning Reg force and any prior class C. I and others raised this issue. If it isn’t remedied in this version, I’ll raise it again Monday when we have senior members of the department on the phone in teleconference. At the same time, researchers will need a way to account for the fact that for most reservists with no deployed service, suicide is often going to be purely incidental, service / suicide is by no means a clear cut relationship.

Of course.... kind of like how Industry doesn't count 'Temp Workers', right? :)
 

brihard

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Apparently it was legitimately difficult to find a data source that would provide names and DOB of class A or B reservists over the same span of time (1976-2012). From what I gather reserve record keeping was paper based longer than RegF/Class C was. Fundamentally when they need is a name and DOB for every person who served in uniform in a span of time, against which they can compare mortality data for potential matches of suicide / former service.

Of course the correlation of former service and suicide doesn’t in any individual case mean causality. This data would catch someone who, say, served for four years in the 80s, got out, carried on with the rest of their adult life and suicided decades later for completely unrelated reasons. With that said, though, when data exists to show statistically significant increased risk of suicide among released veterans who did not serve ‘full’ careers, there’s still obviously something going on. This at least shows the need for further study to try to turn the quantitative into qualitative. Anyway, I’ll be interested to see what Monday’s data reveals.
 

daftandbarmy

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Brihard said:
Apparently it was legitimately difficult to find a data source that would provide names and DOB of class A or B reservists over the same span of time (1976-2012). From what I gather reserve record keeping was paper based longer than RegF/Class C was. Fundamentally when they need is a name and DOB for every person who served in uniform in a span of time, against which they can compare mortality data for potential matches of suicide / former service.

Of course the correlation of former service and suicide doesn’t in any individual case mean causality. This data would catch someone who, say, served for four years in the 80s, got out, carried on with the rest of their adult life and suicided decades later for completely unrelated reasons. With that said, though, when data exists to show statistically significant increased risk of suicide among released veterans who did not serve ‘full’ careers, there’s still obviously something going on. This at least shows the need for further study to try to turn the quantitative into qualitative. Anyway, I’ll be interested to see what Monday’s data reveals.

If we  can't measure it, we can't manage it. I'm pretty sure we're being made to report up 'diversity goal' oriented data. Suicide data is important too.

We expect reservists to line up and cross the LD with the Regs, and all the terminology I've seen since the early 90s is 'One Army' focused, so we should get on that measurement thing IMHO. Not your monkey, I know, but something to push upwards.
 

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Brihard said:
Watch this space.

Still watching - no study released.  One of the issues of studying data pre-2002 was that there wasn't a Monitor Mass or HRMS to track people who had deployed.  There was not even a single/dual source (one for Reg and one for Res) until after 2010 from which they could query a list of people who had deployed to Afghanistan.  Gulf War and Bosnia veterans had to apply for DU testing there was no way to identify all people who had participated in operations in those region.  The Unit Historical Reports and the War Diaries had no way to roll up into a single source database.
 

brihard

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Sorry guys, I apologize. The planned release of the updated study on Monday simply didn’t happen, and being on vacation I got distracted from updating; that’s on me. To the best of my knowledge as of Friday afternoon it was set to go. Monday at noon we get told due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’ they will be unable to release the study at this time, however will be able to soon, hopefully by the end of the month. I’m not impressed. I’m confident it’s sitting there ready to release and that someone has chosen not to, said decision being made and communicated between Friday afternoon and Monday morning.

When I hear an update as to when, I’ll advise.

 

blacktriangle

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From my personal experience, the military doesn't care if someone offs themselves or has a serious attempt. They care more about keeping it off CBC, so they will go to great lengths to make sure that doesn't happen. Even if it means the mentally ill person getting roughed up by law enforcement or put in jail.
 

Jarnhamar

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standingdown said:
From my personal experience, the military doesn't care if someone offs themselves or has a serious attempt. They care more about keeping it off CBC, so they will go to great lengths to make sure that doesn't happen. Even if it means the mentally ill person getting roughed up by law enforcement or put in jail.

I wish I could completely disagree with you. I think there's a ring of truth about the military being primarily concerned about fallout and aftermath, as you say.

I'm not sure about  the law enforcement /roughed up part. Do you have an example?
 

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Good day all,

I’m currently working on a university course research paper discussing not only stats of the suicide rates of military members (how they’re not as high percentage-wise as the general public sometimes perceives them to be), but also how civilians view the suicide of military members in general terms, as compared to the issues of suicide outside of CAF. (i.e more, less or equal levels of understanding, empathy, sympathy, apathy, MH stigmas, etc.)

The past few weeks have been daunting with the several searches and scanning of soldier obituaries, the reading of comments, op-eds and other news articles, as well as the organizing and recording of info. However, I feel it a worthy subject and am enjoying working on it.

To that end, I’m wondering if any current or former service members would be willing to share any experiences of conversations they may have had over the years with civilian friends or family who expressed their views on the topic. Were they more or less concerned for the overall well-being of CAF members? Did they express feelings of anger, dismissal or confusion over member suicides? Just things of that nature.

If there’s anyone willing to share, I believe it would be a helpful component to the paper. As well, please note that I will not use any direct quotes and/or identifying info in the paper without express permission from an individual who responds. However, if I receive any feedback and there’s a portion of the exchange I’d like to use and the individual agrees, I’ll require name, rank and military status for the purposes of legitimacy.

Please shoot me a PM if you’d like to contribute.

Thanks,
BTN
 
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