19 Oct The US military seeks to address mental health among veterans as suicides rise
Military mental health protocols have been reviewed due to rising suicide rates. It is still rare for service members in crisis to come forward and ask for help. Dionne Williamson felt emotionally numb after returning from Afghanistan in 2013. Several years later, more warning signs appeared.
Data from the Defense Department indicates a 40% increase in suicides among active-duty service members between 2015 and 2020. Only in 2020 did the numbers jump by 15%. Suicide rates have doubled in Alaska, a posting that has been a suicide hotspot for years. As a result of the regular riding sessions, Williamson has been able to stabilize herself. Despite her efforts, she still struggles, and she said she had damaged her relationship with several superior officers because of her long campaign for treatment. In March, when she reaches her 20th anniversary, she may or may not retire.
She feels optimistic after equine therapy for the first time in recent memory.
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The US military seeks to address mental health among veterans as suicides rise