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News stories tagged with "suicide"

Forest Ranger Captain John Streiff during a press conference announcing discovery of McKay's body.  (Photo:  Chris Knight, Adirondack Daily Enterprise, used with permission)
Forest Ranger Captain John Streiff during a press conference announcing discovery of McKay's body. (Photo: Chris Knight, Adirondack Daily Enterprise, used with permission)

Missing Australian found near Ray Brook, took own life

An intensive, nearly two-week search in the Adirondacks for a missing Australian soldier ended Wednesday when a state forest ranger found Paul McKay's body on Scarface Mountain near Ray Brook.

An autopsy released Thursday found McKay committed suicide by hypothermia.

The 31-year-old Australian Army captain was a veteran of the war in Afghanistan and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

While the search for McKay is over, as Chris Knight reports, there are still many unanswered surrounding his disappearance.  Go to full article
Addie Russell represents the North Country's "river district," including Ft. Drum, in the state Assembly. Photo: NYS Assembly
Addie Russell represents the North Country's "river district," including Ft. Drum, in the state Assembly. Photo: NYS Assembly

Can peer-to-peer support help cut military suicide?

Defense officials in the US say the number of suicides among active-duty service-members dropped sharply this year, down 22 percent. That's good news.

But suicide still takes the lives of more active-duty military members each year than the war in Afghanistan. And experts say suicide rates among veterans, including older veterans, remains dangerously high.

Assemblywoman Addie Russell represents the North Country's "river district" which includes part of Fort Drum. She also chairs the subcommittee on women veterans and held an Assembly hearing on military suicide last month. Russell sat down to talk about the issue with Susan Arbetter, host of the public radio program Capital Pressroom.  Go to full article
Rep. John mcHugh meeting with soldiers at Ft. Drum.
Rep. John mcHugh meeting with soldiers at Ft. Drum.

McHugh faces questions, assurances at confirmation hearing

Congressman John McHugh took mostly polite questions in a two and a half hour hearing today to become the next Secretary of the Army. The North Country Republican gave a somber assessment of the Army. He spoke about high suicide rates and deployment stress, recruitment challenges, and the future of "don't ask, don't tell". The toughest questions came from fellow Republican, John McCain, who criticized some of McHugh's campaign contributions. Still, members of the Senate Armed Services committee promised a swift confirmation. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) meets the press at Fort Drum Monday
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) meets the press at Fort Drum Monday

Gillibrand focuses on military families at Fort Drum

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand focused on the wellness of soldiers and their families at Fort Drum yesterday. It was the Democrat's first visit to the Army base near Watertown. Gillibrand praised Fort Drum's role in protecting the country and revitalizing the local economy. But she said soldiers need more downtime and more mental health resources. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Staff Sgt. Chad Wood signs the memorial banner for suicide victims.
Staff Sgt. Chad Wood signs the memorial banner for suicide victims.

Rainy march recalls grim reality at Fort Drum

Fort Drum soldiers are training for yet another mission overseas. Defense officials announced last week that the 10th Mountain Division's 3rd Brigade will lead a surge of forces in Afghanistan likely early next year. The quick tempo of deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan is being blamed for the growing problem of suicide among soldiers. The Army has responded with new suicide prevention programs. But the number of soldiers taking their own lives this year is expected to break the record set last year. On Friday, Fort Drum held a memorial march to draw attention to the issue. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Ft. Drum draws attention to soldier suicide

The United States Army is facing a particularly grim statistic. After a record number of soldiers killed themselves last year, the number of suicides is on pace to be even higher this year. According to the Associated Press, there are 62 confirmed suicides among active duty soldiers and Guard and Reserve troops called to active duty in 2008. Another 31 deaths appear to be suicides but are still being investigated. Army Secretary Pete Geren told the AP, "Army leaders are fully aware that repeated deployments have led to increased distress and anxiety for both soldiers and their families." Friday morning at Fort Drum, officials are drawing attention to the danger of suicide with a memorial walk at 11 am. The public is invited to attend. David Sommerstein spoke with Ralph Marcellus, the coordinator of Fort Drum's suicide awareness and prevention campaign.  Go to full article

Taking steps to stop suicide

Suicide is the eighth leading cause of death for men in the U.S. In the North Country, suicide rates are nearly twice as high as in New York City. Experts say isolation and depression are major risk factors. And even though it touches many, discussion of suicide and its aftermath remain taboo. SUNY Potsdam will host an "Out of the Darkness Community Walk" on Saturday, November 3rd. Organizers want to raise awareness and prevention of suicide. Dr. Colleen Livingston, a psychiatrist in Canton who's helping to promote the Potsdam event, says suicide affects people of all age groups and backgrounds and is the fourth leading cause of death among adults. She spoke with Todd Moe.  Go to full article

Suicide a "silent epidemic" in North Country

Suicide is a painful subject, complicated by sorrow and stigma, but public health experts say silence can be deadly. Suicide is the eighth leading cause of death for men in the U.S. Here in the North Country, suicide rates are nearly twice as high as in New York City. Experts say isolation and the easy availability of firearms are big factors. Yesterday in Lake Placid, more than four hundred activists, mental health experts and suicide survivors gathered to look for strategies that might slow the rate of suicide. As Brian Mann reports, they say the first step is speaking out.  Go to full article

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