1 in 3 people will suffer brain illness or injury in their lifetime.
Brain diseases and injuries cost society as much as $2 TRILLION per year in the US and EU.
Brain disorders and injuries cost society more than cancer and cardiovascular disease COMBINED.
1.7 MILLION Americans have Autism.
1.7 MILLION Americans suffer a Traumatic Brain Injury every year.
Approximately 1 million Americans suffer from Parkinson’s disease.
Over 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s Disease.
For every soldier killed in war in 2012, about 25 veterans took their own lives.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is one of the LEADING CAUSES OF DEATH AND DISABILITY in America.
By 2023, over 46 million American adults will suffer from a mental disorder.
53,000 Americans die every year due to Traumatic Brain Injury.
8 teenagers die EVERY DAY in the US from TBI.
Neurological disorders constitute 12% of total deaths globally each year.
There are 5 MILLION Americans living with TBI-related disabilities.
Mental disorders make up 35% of the cost of all non-communicable diseases worldwide.
5.3 MILLION Americans have lifelong disabilities due to Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
Direct and indirect cost of TBI is $76 BILLION per year in the US.
Nearly 8% of the US population suffers from POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS in their lifetime.
300,000 soldiers suffer TBI and/or PTS.
Women are about twice as likely as men to develop PTSD.
There is 1 military suicide per day in the US.
FOUR people commit suicide EVERY HOUR in the United States.
In the U.S., serious mental illness causes earnings loss of $193.2 billion annually.
90% of suicide victims have a TREATABLE MENTAL DISORDER.
Nearly 10% of people with SCHIZOPHRENIA commit suicide.
Number one sport per capita for traumatic brain injury is GIRLS SOCCER.
HALF A MILLION children under 14 go to the emergency room every year for TBI.
Funding for brain research from government and pharmaceutical companies is DECREASING EVERY YEAR.
Someone develops Alzheimer’s Disease EVERY 68 SECONDS.
Alzheimer’s Disease is the 6th LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH in US adults.
Traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of death and disability in children and young adults.
TBI patients are up to 5 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
Medicaid and Medicare spend $130 BILLION per year on Alzheimer’s patients.
One in 10 high school athletes involved in contact sports sustain a concussion each year.
Over 400,000 Americans have Multiple Sclerosis.
An athlete who sustains a concussion is 5 times more likely to sustain a second concussion.
People with TBI are nearly twice as likely to report binge drinking.
The lowest rates of Multiple Sclerosis are in countries nearest to the EQUATOR.
20% of U.S. troops returning from combat tours show symptoms of PTSD or major depression.
DEPRESSION is the LEADING CAUSE of disease burden in the U.S.
Nearly 7% of American adults had a MAJOR DEPRESSIVE EPISODE in the past 12 months.
81.1 million people will be affected by dementia by 2040.
Over 2 MILLION Americans over the age of 18 suffer from BIPOLAR DISORDER.
About one in 10 individuals will have at least one epileptic seizure in their lifetime.
TBI victims are 50% more likely to suffer from depression.
Over 2 MILLION Americans have SCHIZOPHRENIA.
Among people with MS, physical disability contributes to a nearly 70% unemployment rate.
The annual medical cost of Schizophrenia in the US is OVER $32B.


Posted on December 11, 2012


By Dennis J. Reimer and Peter W. Chiarelli, Published: December 7, 2012, The Washington Post

Gen. Reimer (Ret.) was chief of staff of the Army from 1995 to 1999. Gen. Chiarelli (Ret.) was vice chief of staff of the Army from 2008 to 2012.

As troop commanders coming up through the Army ranks, we learned that taking care of our soldiers was a primary responsibility of military leadership. We knew that the troops were our credentials, and we tried to create an environment where they could be the best they could possibly be. This meant getting to know them and their families — whether they lived on or off post. This was part of our responsibility for those under our command. It was — and still is — Leadership 101.

When we lost a service member, for whatever reason, it was a heart-wrenching experience. But it was worse in the case of those who took their own lives. Suicides have been a challenge for the U.S. military for a long time — and the problem is getting more severe. Suicides began rising in the middle of the 2000s, leveled off briefly in 2010 and 2011 and resumed climbing again this year, reaching a record high.

In fact, suicides have become an epidemic. This year, more soldiers, seamen, airmen and Marines died by their own handthan died in battle. Suicide was the No. 1 cause of death for U.S. troops. More than two-thirds of suicides involved firearms, and nearly three-quarters of those cases involved personal weapons, not military weapons.

Reversing this epidemic is among the military’s highest priorities. In that regard, one of the things we learned during our careers is that stress, guns and alcohol constitute a dangerous mixture. In the wrong proportions, they tend to blow out the lamp of the mind and cause irrational acts. Commanders and noncommissioned officers need the tools to prevent this mixture from turning lethal.

One of the most effective measures of suicide prevention is to ask those perceived to be under duress: “Do you have a gun in your home?” If the answer is yes, we might then suggest that the individual put locks on the weapon or store it in a safe place during periods of high stress — things that any responsible gun owner should do.

Unfortunately, that potentially lifesaving action is no longer available to the military. A little-noticed provision in the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has had the unintended consequence of tying the hands of commanders and noncommissioned officers by preventing them from being able to talk to service members about their private weapons, even in cases where a leader believes that a service member may be suicidal.

We both strongly believe that this prohibition interferes with every military leader’s obligation to ensure the health, welfare, morale and well-being of the troops under his or her command and care.

There is a movement now to remove the restriction: The House included an amendment in the 2013 NDAA that would allow these important conversations to occur. But the Senate just passed its version of the NDAA without addressing the issue. We, along with other retired flag and general officers, senior noncommissioned officers and suicide prevention advocates, are urging the House and Senate conferees to include language in the final bill that removes this impediment to suicide prevention.

We agree with those members of Congress who have identified military suicides as a national tragedy that Congress, all branches of Defense Department and numerous outside organizations must work together to solve.

We thank them and hope that others will show the same support. We don’t doubt the good will of any member of Congress, but in the speed and complexity of congressional action, we fear that this provision in the current NDAA could be forgotten — and the safety of our troops should never be forgotten.

Americans go to great effort and expense to save the lives of our troops in combat situations — furnishing body armor, armored vehicles, night-vision goggles and the best technology and training. It makes no sense to spend billions to save lives in one area but leave lives vulnerable in others — especially when those threats could be reduced with little effort.

Whether the threat comes from enemy fire, friendly fire or by their own hands, we have a moral duty to protect those who serve. When these men and women put themselves under our command and care, they trust us with their lives. We must not let them down.