Over 50% of Army men are under ‘severe stress’: Study | India News

NEW DELHI: More than half of the 13-lakh Army “seems to be under severe stress”, with the force losing more soldiers every year due to suicides, fratricides and untoward incidents than any enemy action on the borders and battling terrorists in the hinterland, says a new study conducted by a serving Colonel for defence think-tank United Services Institution of India.
The Army, however, rejected the study, stressing that the sample size for the survey was too “miniscule” to arrive at such “far-reaching” conclusions. “The study has been done by one individual, with a sample size of around 400 soldiers. I don’t know the methodology involved but it does not stand to logic,” said a senior officer.
The fact, however, remains that around 100 soldiers take the extreme step of ending their lives every year. The Army has lost over 950 soldiers to suicides since 2010, as was earlier reported by TOI. Protracted deployments along the borders as well as counter-insurgency and terrorist (CI/CT) operations in J&K and the northeast do take a toll on the mental health and physical endurance of soldiers.
Soldiers posted in forward or “field areas” also undergo tremendous stress for not being able to take care of the problems facing their families back home.
The study, conducted by Colonel A K Mor, on its part says there has been “a significant increase in stress levels” among Army personnel during the last two decades due to both “operational and nonoperational stressors”. While “operational stressors” are accepted as integral to the profession, the study notes that “non-operational stressors” are “compounding adverse effects on health and combat efficiency of soldiers.

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