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An U.S. veteran from Afghanistan who now serves in the House of Representatives wants military members to sign an anti-suicide oath when they leave the service. According to the Stars and Stripes, Florida Republican Congressman Brian Mast was on deployment to Kandahar in 2010 when a roadside bomb blew off both his legs. He believes an “Oath of Exit” administered to military personnel will prevent suicides among veterans who will be bound to call a friend before they attempt to take their own lives.
But the idea is not being greeted with enthusiasm by experts in the field of suicide prevention, some of whom say it might actually provoke more self-destruction.
Craig - Bryan - Stars - Stripes - Psychologist
“It won’t work, to put it bluntly,” Craig Bryan told the Stars and Stripes. The psychologist, who is also executive director of the National Center for Veterans Studies at the University of Utah, sees the oath having a reverse effect. “At best, it would be a neutral effect, but it could make things worse.”
Bryan believes that the oath might just exacerbate the feelings of shame and guilt that produce suicidal thinking.
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