Saturday, March 08, 2008

Soldier Mental Health

As newspapers continue to describe some urban neighborhoods as war-zones, here's some news from the Iraq war-zone. A new report, as described by Peter Spiegel in the Los Angeles Times, has found that soldiers are more likely to suffer from mental health problems in their third and fourth tours of duty. "27.2% of noncommissioned officers - the sergeants responsible for leading troops in combat - reported mental health problems during their third or fourth tours. That was up from 18.5% of those on their second tour and 11.9% of those on their first tour." These are self-reported numbers.

Soliders also have increasing trouble concentrating on their work. "Most strikingly, soldiers reporting they intended to separate from or divorce their spouses shot up over the courses of the 15-month tours, with 30% of all junior enlistees saying they planned to break off personal relationships at the end of their deployment. Only 10% reported similar feelings at the start of their tours."

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