Military suicides higher than ever before - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Military suicides higher than ever before

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There are many programs in the United States to assist wounded warriors, but what about the invisible wounds?

Many believe it is the invisible wounds that are harder to treat. That is becoming increasingly evident by the number of military suicides last year - the highest number ever.

The Associated Press reported there were 349 military suicides last year. That's 39 more than the number of Americans troops who died last year in Afghanistan.

"Every individual suicide is a failure on some part," said Dr. Christopher Hines, a psychiatrist with the Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center. "I don't know that we can ever get that number down to zero, but we look at each one individually and review and try to figure out where an intervention could've occurred and learn from that.

"What we hope for is that one, they know that there's help available and they can come and get it on their own," said Major Matthew Agius, a psychiatrist with the U.S. Army. "Two, if they don't know that or they're not willing to seek that other people around them will notice and get them to that help."

One place to go for help in Lubbock is Starcare.

Starcare operates a crisis line 24 hours a day to help veterans and others with mental health issues. The agency serves Lubbock and 4 other counties in this area, Cochran, Crosby, Hockley and Lynn.

The number for Lubbock is 806-740-1414.

When you call, the operator may refer you to the right resource where you can get help, or if it's an emergency, a crisis team can be sent out to help you in any of those five counties.

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