Falklands suicide Rate claim may be false

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
#2
what about those who deliberately drove into trees etc.. or deliberatly made sure they were never found? I've known a couple who refused to be treated for agressive cancers because of their depression and the fact that policies didn't pay out on suicide.

I think they are trying to head off the iraq/afghan toll which will hit us in a few years.
 
#3
what about those who deliberately drove into trees etc.. or deliberatly made sure they were never found? I've known a couple who refused to be treated for agressive cancers because of their depression and the fact that policies didn't pay out on suicide.

I think they are trying to head off the iraq/afghan toll which will hit us in a few years.
Your right! So which station is it that identifies these people as being Falkland Veterans and then relays this information back to MOD.

I find this to be a little odd that MOD just come out of the blue with this claim some 31 years after that conflict ended.

Grumblegrunt says some interesting facts in his post, I would not take those MOD figures as being gospel.
 
#4
You should try reading the report before passing off hearsay as 'fact'. The report details why it was written - essentially to try and counter or confirm (depending on your point of view) the true figures as published in the press on the recent anniversary of the conflict. It also details how the data was collated. Some quite interesting observations regardless:

http://www.dasa.mod.uk/publications..._to_31_december_2012.pdf?PublishTime=08:30:00
 
M

Mr_Logic

Guest
#5
Your right! So which station is it that identifies these people as being Falkland Veterans and then relays this information back to MOD.

I find this to be a little odd that MOD just come out of the blue with this claim some 31 years after that conflict ended.

Grumblegrunt says some interesting facts in his post, I would not take those MOD figures as being gospel.
This research was featured on the BBC 4 programme More or Less, which is like an intelligent version of Mythbusters, based on economics and statistics, for those with a longer attention span. They also questioned the much quoted, and seemingly apocryphal belief that more US Vietnam Veterans have committed suicide since that war. Apparently the US DoD keep much better records on veterans than we do and have been able to demonstrate that only 12,000 suicides as opposed to 58,000 KIA have occurred since Vietnam.

The tin hat wearing grief whores may not believe this, but assuming the research is accurate, this is surely good news. Not only have there been far fewer suicides than thought, but overall deaths are also far lower. I quote, 'The study also found: 78% of veterans' deaths (1,046) were the result of disease, while 19% (247 deaths) were the result of external causes of injury; Cancer was the primary cause of disease-related deaths, with 455 cases recorded; But veterans were 30% less likely to die from cancer and 40% less likely to die from disease in general than men with no military background over the period since 1982.' If the rearch is inaccurate or not considering the full picture, others will be able to review and amend it. However, these findings would indicate that service in the Armed Forces is actually good for you. A combination of physical activity, regular medical care, life-long mates and positive outlook may counteract the binge drinking and the****ed knees.

Personally, I think this is good news, while still having the deepest sympathy for any individual or family who has lost a loved one.
 
#6
I'd also be interested to know how any suicides are causally attributed to FI service rather than other factors.
 
#7
veterans were 30% less likely to die from cancer and 40% less likely to die from disease in general than men with no military background
Now just imagine those statistics in the window of the Army Recruitment Office.

Personally I don't believe anything our MOD, Intelligence or government publicly announce anymore. every office of the establishment lost all credibility after the Second gulf war was justified & based on fear and lies.
 
#9
.............. I don't believe anything our MOD, Intelligence or government publicly announce anymore. every office of the establishment lost all credibility after the Second gulf war was justified & based on fear and lies.
Wunh? So, you don't believe announcements concerning block leave allocations, pay rates, pension rates, unit relocations, operational casualty announcements, etc?

That's the trouble with a sweeping statement: they tend to sweep up everything.

Your Origami skills with domestic foil wrapping must be a joy to behold.
 
#10
I'd also be interested to know how any suicides are causally attributed to FI service rather than other factors.
Unfortunately it's not possible to tell as the only person that can tell anyone isn't around to ask. Most people who commit suicide don't leave notes.

It certainly won't be close to all of them, but not possible to say exactly what proportion. 30 yrs have passed and a lot can happen in a personal life in that time, never mind the development of one of the traditional mental illnesses, ie not PTSD related.
 
#11
Now just imagine those statistics in the window of the Army Recruitment Office.

Personally I don't believe anything our MOD, Intelligence or government publicly announce anymore. every office of the establishment lost all credibility after the Second gulf war was justified & based on fear and lies.

And yet recruitment interest jumps whenever the Forces are playing shootybangbang for real.
 
#12
Unfortunately it's not possible to tell as the only person that can tell anyone isn't around to ask. Most people who commit suicide don't leave notes.
That's what bothers me about the original claims and others like it - they often imply that the 'experience' is the only or majority cause of suicide/illness/et.

I only skimmed the report, but, if I've read it right, there was an analysis of the GW1 population and a comparison against both it and the general UK population (similar age). I wonder why they didn't conduct an analysis against a sample from the non-deployed FI-era personnel to both remove the 'fit soldier' effect and to give a comparative check against a more representative population?

It certainly won't be close to all of them, but not possible to say exactly what proportion. 30 yrs have passed and a lot can happen in a personal life in that time, never mind the development of one of the traditional mental illnesses, ie not PTSD related.
Indeed.
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#13
I've always been suspicious of this claim, for which I've never seen anything other than weak anecdotal backing and I'm glad it's been knocked on the head.

It's worth remembering that lots of other military 'facts' originate in 'anti-war' groups and their ilk, so that in Vietnam, for example, the average age of the combat soldier was not 'Ne-ne-ne-ne-Nineteen', but actually around 22; ethnic minorities were slightly under represented amongst combat soldiers in comparison to the population in the USA; and white high school graduates were over-represented.
 
#14
That's what bothers me about the original claims and others like it - they often imply that the 'experience' is the only or majority cause of suicide/illness/et.

I only skimmed the report, but, if I've read it right, there was an analysis of the GW1 population and a comparison against both it and the general UK population (similar age). I wonder why they didn't conduct an analysis against a sample from the non-deployed FI-era personnel to both remove the 'fit soldier' effect and to give a comparative check against a more representative population?

Indeed.
Here's DASA's explanation for the lack of a contemporary cohort:

56. Due to the length of time that has elapsed since the Falklands cohort and this study, and the difficulty in
obtaining Service records from that era, it was not possible to construct an ‘era’ cohort with which to
compare the Falkland veterans. An ‘era’ cohort would be defined as an equivalent sized age and gender
matched sample from the UK Armed Forces population who were serving during the same period as the
Falklands campaign but who did not deploy. However Defence Statistics monitor deaths amongst the
veterans of the 1991 Gulf 1 conflict. This cohort consists of 53,409 UK Service personnel deployed to
any Gulf state between 1 September 1990 and 30 June 1991 and for the Navy afloat, all personnel
aboard a ship east of the Suez canal during that period. Thus this cohort has been presented alongside
the Falklands cohort as a comparator veteran population.
 
#15
Here's DASA's explanation for the lack of a contemporary cohort:


56. Due to the length of time that has elapsed since the Falklands cohort and this study, and the difficulty in
obtaining Service records from that era,
it was not possible to construct an ‘era’ cohort with which to
compare the Falkland veterans. An ‘era’ cohort would be defined as an equivalent sized age and gender
matched sample from the UK Armed Forces population who were serving during the same period as the
Falklands campaign but who did not deploy. However Defence Statistics monitor deaths amongst the
veterans of the 1991 Gulf 1 conflict. This cohort consists of 53,409 UK Service personnel deployed to
any Gulf state between 1 September 1990 and 30 June 1991 and for the Navy afloat, all personnel
aboard a ship east of the Suez canal during that period. Thus this cohort has been presented alongside
the Falklands cohort as a comparator veteran population.
I have difficulty in believing they have struggled to access service records. It is possible to reconstruct the career of a Waterloo veteran, or as proved on Arrse a WW1 vet but not an FI vet?
 
#16
I have difficulty in believing they have struggled to access service records. It is possible to reconstruct the career of a Waterloo veteran, or as proved on Arrse a WW1 vet but not an FI vet?
It would all be manual and they'd need access to a representative population of at least 10000, not just the one or two which you cite. So, they used a similar cohort from 9 years later for which the data already exists thereby saving a fortune in manhours and taxpayers' dosh.
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#17
I've always been suspicious of this claim, for which I've never seen anything other than weak anecdotal backing and I'm glad it's been knocked on the head.

It's worth remembering that lots of other military 'facts' originate in 'anti-war' groups and their ilk, so that in Vietnam, for example, the average age of the combat soldier was not 'Ne-ne-ne-ne-Nineteen', but actually around 22; ethnic minorities were slightly under represented amongst combat soldiers in comparison to the population in the USA; and white high school graduates were over-represented.
'Stolen Valor' (sic), Burkett & Whitley 1998, and 'War Stories', Kulik 2009 are a wonderful repository of researched myth busting on the Viet Nam War. A real eye opener.
 
#18
It would all be manual and they'd need access to a representative population of at least 10000, not just the one or two which you cite. So, they used a similar cohort from 9 years later for which the data already exists thereby saving a fortune in manhours and taxpayers' dosh.
Some people would call that researching your subject, as opposed to studying 2 cases and making shit up.
 
Z

Zarathustra

Guest
#20
I was told this by Kevan Jones when I went hob nobing at Main Building in 2009, so I can't say I'm surprised it's been released.
 

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