Mental health scheme launched to curb Army suicides: Antony


Tihar Jail
Jun 16, 2009
Mental health scheme launched to curb Army suicides: Antony

New Delhi (PTI): With the number of suicides and killing of fellow soldier rising by the day, the Defence Ministry has put in place a 'Mental Health Programme' to curb the trend in the armed forces, Lok Sabha was informed on Monday.

Defence Minister A K Antony, in a statement, said in a statement that the Defence Ministry "shares the concern" expressed by the Parliamentary Standing Committee in its 30th and 31st report on the increasing suicides and fratricides in the armed forces.

Stating that his Ministry viewed the situation seriously, Mr. Antony, in the Action Taken Report, said it had taken necessary steps to reduce stress among armed force personnel, which was a continuous process.

Mr. Antony had on July 13 informed Parliament that there were 520 cases of suicides and fratricides in the Army since 2006, of which 495 were suicides alone.

The Parliamentary Committee had noted that there were 635 cases of suicide and 67 fratricides in the armed forces between 2003 and 2007.

"There is no denial that even a single case of suicide and fratricide in armed forces is a matter of concern for the Ministry despite the fact that the overall psychiatric morbidity is less than the national figures," Mr. Antony said.

However, he said, armed force personnel could not be immune to influences of the environment at their home and the rising aspirations of the community as a whole.

The Hindu News Update Service

dave lukins

May 4, 2009
If a Soldier reports to his Commanding Officer that he wishes to be put into the program, what are the chances of him staying in the Forces and will he be deemed 'at risk' to himself and others? Can he be trusted in times of pressure?
Will soldiers want to be put into the program in case they are thought to be weak and therefore stigmatised by others? I hope this program works even if it's for the safety of others. It's hard enough watching for the enemy around you and then to have the added danger of soldiers within. A very nerve wracking situation indeed.

Global Defence