Entries in Suicides (3)


Army Suicide Numbers Top All of Last Year

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- With less than two months to go before the year's end, the total number of active-duty Army suicides in 2012 may have already surpassed last year’s figures, according to the latest monthly suicide report from the U.S. Army.

The military branch says in the first 10 months of 2012, there have been 166 potential active-duty suicides, with 105 confirmed and 61 still under investigation.  In 2011, there were a total of 165 confirmed suicides.

For the month of October, the Army says there were 20 potential suicides.  Five have been confirmed as suicides and 15 remain under investigation.

In September, the Army reported 15 potential suicides among active-duty soldiers.  Four have been confirmed and 11 remain under investigation.

Suicide numbers for Army National Guard and reserve soldiers are slightly below active-duty totals.  So far in 2012, there have been 114 potential suicides, with 83 confirmed and the remainder still under investigation.  In 2011, there were 118 confirmed suicides.

Gen. David M. Rodriguez, commanding general, U.S. Army Forces Command, issued a statement in an Army press release saying, “Suicide is preventable and its prevention is a shared responsibility among all members of the Army Family."

“We all must take the time to do a self-inventory to assess the presence and impact of stressors in our lives.  Of equal importance is the awareness of the needs of others around us.  There are no bystanders in our Army Family,” he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Army Suicides Reach Alarming Highs

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Army announced on Thursday that more of its service members took their own lives during July than in any month in recent memory.

According to an analysis, there were 38 suicides or suspected suicides, with 26 involving active-duty soldiers in the Army -- a new monthly high -- and 12 among National Guard or Reserve soldiers who were not on active-duty service.

Another disturbing finding: the suicide rate in the Army is up 22 percent in 2012 from the same period last year.  So far, there have been 116 deaths compared to 95 among active-duty soldiers during the first seven months of 2011.

One Army analyst says that breaks down to a rate of 29 deaths per 100,000 in the Army in 2012.  The national rate of suicides in the civilian population is 18.5 per 100,000.

According to the Army, the number of veterans dying by their own hand has exceeded newly-minted soldiers this year.

One possible reason for the alarming rise in suicides may have to do with troops having a hard time adjusting to their previous lives at home after having served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Panetta on Military Suicides: 'We Can Do More, We Must Do More'

DOD photo by Glenn Fawcett(WASHINGTON) -- More active duty troops die from suicide than from combat, and the Pentagon chief is frustrated that efforts to prevent suicides are not succeeding.  And despite the Pentagon's efforts so far, suicides are going up among active duty troops – 25 percent higher just this spring.

Speaking at a conference on suicide prevention for service members, veterans and their families, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Friday called the uptick in suicides the "most frustrating challenge" of his position.

“We can do more, we must do more, and together we will do more to prevent suicides,” Panetta said, adding that “there are no easy answers here. There are no quick fixes. There are no simple solutions.”

The defense secretary said changes must start at the top. “Leaders throughout the department must make it understood that seeking help is a sign of strength not a sign of weakness,” Panetta said.

Panetta said the military now has 9,000 mental health professionals -- a one-third increase -- in hospitals, clinics, and even war zones.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio