My first professional experience with suicide occurred over 20 years ago. The suicide was not one of my clients, but was someone many felt they knew and his death had a huge impact on my professional life. In 1996, I had just moved to Yokosuka, Japan to work as a counselor on a Navy base. It was my first job working for the Navy and I was excited to support Sailors and their families in an overseas environment. At the time I had been out of graduate school only a few years. I was seeking an opportunity to have a positive impact and felt I had the skills and experience to do that on the Navy base.
Blog posts with the tag "Staff Perspective"
In 2015, the National Center for Health Statistics found that in the U.S. alone, 9.8 million adults endorsed having serious suicidal thoughts, and 1.3 million adults reported a suicide attempt during the past year (World Health Organization). Suicide experts advocate for restricting access to lethal means as an effective strategy to reduce suicide rates. In this blog, I plan to review the efficacy of reducing access to various lethal means.
From an early age, people learn to be curious about the happenings of the world by asking “why.” However, in some cases the “why” becomes a question about tragic life events such as, “Why did this happen?” When I recently read the newly released 2016 Department of Defense Suicide Event Report (DoDSER), one particular tragic finding had me asking a curious, Why?
The struggle to understand a friend’s suicide was illustrated for me again recently when a friend posted this on Facebook, “I have no words right now, except pain for finding out that I lost a good friend and amazing soldier to suicide this morning.” Reading through the comments of his post someone mentioned the deceased being free of pain. My friend’s response was, “but what about everyone else’s pain now?” I think that speaks volumes about the heartbreak of suicide.
Mr. Timothy Kudo served in the US Marine Corps from 2006-2011 as a captain and executive officer. He deployed to Iraq in 2009 and to Afghanistan in 2010 to 2011. His writing on Veteran issues, ethics, and public service has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, and other publications. Some of his articles have focused on his experiences downrange related to moral transgressions and the morality of war.After reading some of Mr. Kudo’s articles, I sent him questions about moral injury and the moral impact of war. Below are the written responses he provided to me. My hope is that mental health providers gain insight and sensitivity from his candid comments and thus communicate more openly with military clients about this often unspoken topic.