Sunday, April 29, 2007

DOD Study: Mental health worsens as deployments lengthen

Jeremy Maresh, the most recently reported suicide of an active duty soldier in Iraq, was on his first tour. He deployed in September, 2006.

A recently released survey of soldiers and Marines puts concrete numbers behind problems experts have worried about since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began.

Suicides are up among combat vets, mental health issues are worse among those who deploy often and for longer periods, and one out of 10 service members surveyed said they have hit or kicked non-combatant Iraqis or destroyed their property...

Soldiers and Marines who have faced the most combat situations, deployed for longer periods of time, and deployed more than once face more mental health issues, according to a survey of 1,320 soldiers and 447 Marines. Of those on a second, third or fourth deployment, 27 percent screened positive for mental health issues, compared to 17 percent of first-time deployers. And 22 percent of those in-theater for six months or more screened positive for mental health issues, compared to 15 percent of those who had been there fewer than six months.

Read the rest at Navy Times