Steve Scher talks with Jennifer Stuber, a supporter of the legislation to educate primary care providers on identifying signs of suicidal behavior. Stuber, whose husband killed himself in 2011, believes that training health care professionals could save lives.
NPR interviewed dozens of current or former soldiers who said they have struggled under toxic leaders.
Hollywood has portrayed military leaders as monsters in movies such as 1987's <em>Full Metal Jacket </em>about Marines during the Vietnam War. Army leaders wonder if this kind of toxic leadership is hurting its soldiers.
Credit Warner Bros/The Kobal Collection
Gen. David Perkins, who led the first troops into downtown Iraq in 2003, now runs the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. He says toxic leadership could have life or death consequences.
Top commanders in the U.S. Army have announced publicly that they have a problem: They have too many "toxic leaders" — the kind of bosses who make their employees miserable. Many corporations share a similar problem, but in the Army's case, destructive leadership can potentially have life or death consequences. So, some Army researchers are wondering if toxic officers have contributed to soldiers' mental health problems.
More people now die of suicide than in car accidents. In 2010, 38,364 suicide deaths were reported in the United States. Many say suicide is still underreported. September is suicide prevention awareness month and today The Record is taking a look at Seattle's Crisis Clinic, where volunteers staff a 24-hour crisis line. They take calls from people thinking about suicide and others who need help. Ross Reynolds talks with Crisis Clinic's director of crisis services, Michael Reading.
A new report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows that suicide deaths have surpassed car deaths in the United States. According to the same report, suicide rates rose 15% from 1999 to 2010, with an even more dramatic rise among the 35-64 age group. Washington state has seen similar increases. Ross Reynolds speaks with Dr. Thomas Simon, a researcher at the CDC’s Injury Center in Atlanta about why the suicide rate is growing.
Portland writer Kim Stafford has struggled to make sense out of the suicide of his brother Bret for 25 years. Though Bret was just 14 months older, Kim always looked to his brother as a leader and teacher. When he shot himself at age 40 in 1988, nobody in Bret’s family knew how much he was struggling.
Members of the Stafford family, even their father and famous poet William Stafford, couldn’t bring themselves to speak or write about Bret's loss. It was largely up to Kim Stafford to break the family silence. Kim’s new memoir, “100 Tricks Every Boy Can Do: How My Brother Disappeared,” is the story of his brother’s life and death and its devastating and transformational effect on Kim and his family.
Suicide is now the number one cause of death for US troops. Nationally, more than two-thirds of suicides of active duty troops involve firearms. Most are personal weapons.
Former vice chief of staff for the Army General Peter Chiarelli wants commanders to have the ability to talk to distressed troop members about their private weapons as part of an effort to reverse the trend.
Editors' Note: This story contains graphic descriptions of suicide. If you or someone you know might be suicidal, visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or call 800.273.8255 (800.273.TALK).
In the past decade, a dozen Western State Hospital patients have killed themselves. More than a hundred others have tried. Megan Templeton was the most recent. In April, she hanged herself in her hospital room. She had turned 20 the day before.