The Army released suicide data today for the month of January. During January, among active-duty soldiers, there were 16 potential suicides: five have been confirmed as suicide and 11 remain under investigation. For December, the Army reported 11 potential suicides among active-duty soldiers. Since the release of that report, eight have been confirmed as a suicide and three remain under investigation.
During January, among reserve component soldiers who were not on active duty, there were six potential suicides (five Army National Guard and one Army Reserve): none have been confirmed as suicide and six remain under investigation. For December, among that same group, the Army reported five potential suicides. Since the release of that report, one case has been added for a total of six cases (four Army National Guard and two Army Reserve). Six were confirmed as suicides and none remain under investigation.
“With our Army in significant transition, our leadership at all levels is engaged to synchronize our efforts to improve the health and discipline of the force and the well-being of our Army families,” said Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, the Army deputy chief of staff, G-1. “I am encouraged by the 2011 Army suicide data that reflects a slight decrease in suicides from the record year experienced in 2010 and a halting of the dramatic increases experienced between 2006 and 2009; however, many challenges lie ahead, which we must tackle together.” Bostick urges leaders and soldiers to read, digest and apply the principles and lessons learned reflected in the “Gold Book” as it continues and expands the dialogue on health promotion and risk reduction. “The ‘Gold Book’ will help leaders at all levels continue the face to face conversations that are focused on reducing the stigma associated with help-seeking behavior. Our Army family deserves our very best effort and that is what they will receive!”
Soldiers and families in need of crisis assistance can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Trained consultants are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and can be contacted by dialing 1–800-273-TALK (8255) or by visiting their website at http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org .
Army leaders can access current health promotion guidance in newly revised Army Regulation 600–63 (Health Promotion) at: http://www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/pdf/r600_63.pdf and Army Pamphlet 600–24 (Health Promotion, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention) at http://www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/pdf/p600_24.pdf .
The Army’s comprehensive list of Suicide Prevention Program information is located at http://www.preventsuicide.army.mil .
Suicide prevention training resources for Army families can be accessed at http://www.armyg1.army.mil/hr/suicide/training_sub.asp?sub_cat=20 (requires Army Knowledge Online access to download materials).
Information about Military OneSource is located at http://www.militaryonesource.com or by dialing the toll-free number 1–800-342‑9647 for those residing in the continental United States. Overseas personnel should refer to the Military OneSource website for dialing instructions for their specific location.
Information about the Army’s Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program is located at http://www.army.mil/csf .
The Defense Center for Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) Outreach Center can be contacted at 1–866-966‑1020, via electronic mail at Resources@DCoEOutreach.org and at http://www.dcoe.health.mil .
The website for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is http://www.afsp.org , and the Suicide Prevention Resource Council site is found at http://www.sprc.org/index.asp .
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)