Discussion in 'On Topic' started by Jason H, Jan 29, 2009.
I'm not in, so I don't have any knowledge about this, but: does the Army (and other branches) provide psychological services for soldiers? It really seems foolish not to offer counseling for soldiers.
All services offer psych counseling. The problem is that many are scared of pursuing help because they may be branded as crazy or are fearful of losing any clearances they may hold.
There is also dumb pride. Many young men are still in that I am invincible stage of their life, so they try to deal with it rather than seek help.
My real job in the Army is Mental Health counseling. I go out an meet the troops as they are doing what they do everyday. I try to teach them something about stress or anger management while we are breaking tracks or serving chow. I am sort of like Major Sydney Freedman on MASH, if you are old enough to remember him.
Of course, now, I am a Recruiter and am really hope that there is a Mental Health NCO one tenth as good as me taking care of my troops.
The Army (active duty, and to a lesser extent Guard and Reserve) has a culture that I call "pop the pimple until it goes away". If you exhibit some kind of medical or mental weakness, especially if it isn't something visual like a broken bone, the overriding assumption will be that you are shirking your responsibilities and faking an injury.
The problem is that a lot of guys will fake sickness to get out of work. The NCO ranks have a mission to get done, and when they perceive one of their men getting "conveniently sick" just when the work gets hard, it isn't hard to see why they would be pissed.
I'm not active duty, but I have seen AD NCOs just hound their joes into the ground. The weak ones eventually snap.
Shit, I almost WISH this was the case in the AF. If we fuck with someone in the slightest bit WE (the NCOs) get bitched at for being "too hard on our troops". Fuck that noise, I told Airman Dirtbag to do something, barring threat to life or limb, his ass better fucking do it.
As for the suicides....this may be a cold hard reality, but it is survival of the fittest. And obviously if you commit suicide, you aren't mentally fit.
There's a middle ground that is readily available. Get him diagnosed, get him treated, get him discharged. You're right that a suicidal troop doesn't belong in the military. They belong in a treatment plan somewhere in the civilian sector.