The Department of Defense’s Under Secretary for Personnel and Readiness recently released an inaugural Annual Suicide Report (ASR). Along with data regarding suicides among Active Component, Guard and Reserve Service members, it also included the first ever number of suicide deaths among military spouses and dependents. According to the ASR, there were 186 reported military family member suicide deaths in CY17.
Blog posts with the tag "Military Couples"
In continued recognition of Brain Injury Awareness Month, this is the second in a series of blog posts examining the stories of military families affected by traumatic brain injury (TBI). This week I will focus on the experience of the injured individual’s spouse by reviewing related research, first-person accounts, and resources available to support partners as they learn to navigate the often-unfamiliar role of caregiver.
Relationship distress is a common presentation in the military mental health clinic in which I work and is also a frequently seen precipitating factor for combat stress during deployment. Most of the mental health professionals I work with cite relationship woes as the top reason underlying adjustment disorders in theater. We also know that relationship problems of various types (loss of relationship, perceived burdensomeness in relationships) are associated with an elevated risk of suicide and other mental health problems.
Despite an extensive history of punitive practices towards what we know today as the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community, LGBTQ people have served in the United States military since its inception (GSAFE, 2018). Those LGBTQ Veterans who served during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War did so at a time when the military defined homosexuality as a mental disorder, with support from the organized medical community (e.g., APA).