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Lt. Elizabeth Whiteside, a psychiatric outpatient at Walter Reed Army Medical Center who was waiting for the Army to decide whether to court-martial her for endangering another soldier and turning a gun on herself last year in Iraq, attempted to kill herself Monday evening. In so doing, the 25-year-old Army reservist joined a record number of soldiers who have committed or tried to commit suicide after serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.
\"I\'m very disappointed with the Army,\" Whiteside wrote in a note before swallowing dozens of antidepressants and other pills. \"Hopefully this will help other soldiers.\" She was taken to the emergency room early Tuesday. Whiteside, who is now in stable physical condition, learned yesterday that the charges against her had been dismissed.
Whiteside\'s personal tragedy is part of an alarming phenomenon in the Army\'s ranks: Suicides among active-duty soldiers in 2007 reached their highest level since the Army began keeping such records in 1980, according to a draft internal study obtained by The Washington Post. Last year, 121 soldiers took their own lives, nearly 20 percent more than in 2006.
At the same time, the number of attempted suicides or self-inflicted injuries in the Army has jumped sixfold since the Iraq war began. Last year, about 2,100 soldiers injured themselves or attempted suicide, compared with about 350 in 2002, according to the U.S. Army Medical Command Suicide Prevention Action Plan.
Originally posted by DancedWithWolves
Does anyone have any suggestions of resources available to help us understand how better to help them "come home".