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Soldier Suicide Rate Nearing All-Time High

The Washington Post is reporting today that the suicide rate among active duty soldiers is on pace to pass last year’s all-time high of 18.1 suicides per 100,000 soldiers. If this rate continues, it will be the first time since the Vietnam War that the soldiers’ suicide rate has exceeded the suicide rate of the general American population—19.5 per 100,000. It’s a heart-breaking commentary on the catastrophic execution of this war that the soldiers in our all-volunteer military are killing themselves at the same rate as the Vietnam-era’s heavily drafted force. The Army is taking new measures to help soldiers cope. From the article:
The latest Army prevention efforts include the hiring of hundreds of new mental health providers, the production of an interactive video on the subject, to be released this fall, and the introduction of an intervention program aimed at teaching junior Army leaders not only suicidal symptoms but actions that can prevent suicides. The ACE program includes handing out laminated cards decorated with the ace of hearts that advise three steps — “ask,” “care” and “escort” — that spell “ACE”: Ask your buddy direct questions such as “Are you thinking of killing yourself?”; care for your buddy by taking away weapons; and escort your buddy to a military chaplain or health provider. “Take away the weapon if someone is playing Russian roulette with it. . . . Unfortunately, people have not always done that,” said Brig. Gen. Rhonda Cornum, the Army’s assistant surgeon general for force protection. Army prevention programs to this point have not trained soldiers adequately in what to do after they learn a comrade is in crisis, she added. Another measure that Cornum said has proven effective is for Army commanders in combat zones to take a more “humanistic” approach and to return soldiers home so they can deal with personal crises and thereby “live another day to keep serving.”
Here’s an idea: end the war.


Economic Development is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It

Economic development today is completely broken. That’s the argument of author Michael Shuman in his new book, The Local Economy Solution. The singular focus on attracting global corporations is not just ineffective but counterproductive, Shuman argues, especially given the huge opportunity costs. Indeed, it’s not far-fetched to suggest that the best way most communities can […] Read More..

5 Shareable Strategies for Creating Climate Action

Frustrated about climate change? You’re not alone. Most people in our society find themselves somewhere on the spectrum of depressed about our climate situation to flat-out denying that it exists. In fact, the more information about global warming that piles up, the less we seem to do to combat it. What is the reason for this […] Read More..

A Mini-Festo for Earth Day – Rebuild the Foodshed

For the past month, author Philip Ackerman-Leist has been on a Twitter MiniFesto campaign – each day sending out a new tweet designed to spark conversation and pass along some lessons he learned whilst working on his last book, Rebuilding the Foodshed. You might also know Philip as the author of his memoir Up Tunket […] Read More..

Books in the News: ‘The Tao of Vegetable Gardening’ & More!

What does Taoism have to do with gardening? That question is being answered in The Washington Post this week with a lengthy profile of Chelsea Green author Carol Deppe—gardener, plant breeder, seed expert, and geneticist based in Oregon—and her new book The Tao of Vegetable Gardening. “Once I read The Tao of Vegetable Gardening, with its […] Read More..

Depressed about Climate Change? Good. Here’s How to Take Action

The facts about climate change are settled. Mostly. In fact, the news seems to get worse, and more urgent, every day. Yet, the more the facts stack up, the less resolve many people seem to have about getting behind solutions that will stem, or turn, the tide. What gives? In What We Think About When […] Read More..