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Army dealing with suicides in ranks

The U.S. Army has a serious problem with suicides in the ranks. More soldiers killed themselves last month than died in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, a shocking fact that has the Army reeling. …

Reasons for the soldiers killing themselves vary from financial and relationship problems to the stress of combat and poor mental health care in the Army. …

To its credit, the Army is facing the problem squarely and asking for help. …

Fashioning a solution to a problem with so many variables won’t be easy. Adding to the challenge is a warrior culture that doesn’t like to admit weakness and discourages treatment. The Army needs to address in a serious way, not just with words and orders the stigma attached to soldiers acknowledging mental health problems and seeking help.

Army brass should focus, too, on post-traumatic stress syndrome and the problems veterans face after they leave the service. …

There is no magic cure for the Army as it tackles this difficult issue, no single solution that will work for every soldier contemplating taking his or her life. But the more attention to the problem, the more things the Army tries as a way to help soldiers, the better the chances of curtailing this shocking increase in suicides.

These men and women serve their country in its most dangerous ventures, and they deserve the best care including mental health care the country can provide them.

-The Austin American-Statesman