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Controversial project helps Army predict suicide

Sunday - 10/6/2013, 10:00am  ET

Predicting and preventing suicide

WTOP's Veronica Robinson reports

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WASHINGTON - The numbers are staggering: Members of the Army committed six suicides a week last year.

Now, the Army is looking into ways it can predict - and prevent - suicide. A computer cod, developed by the National Institute of Mental Health with Harvard University and several other universities is designed to identify soldiers at risk of attempting suicide, USA Today reports.

Researchers have applied risk factors such as psychiatric problems or deployment history records to a computer assessment of soldiers - producing a rating that flags an at-risk solider for specialized care.

The Army says it's cautiously optimistic about the project, USA Today reports.

Army leaders say they are worried the program could replace a commander's ideas about how to help soldiers with a computer's logic. Other advocates say the project could unfairly target and stigmatize soldiers.

WTOP's Veronica Robinson contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

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