WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Army released suicide data today for the month of April. Among active-duty Soldiers, there were ten potential suicides: one has been confirmed as suicide, and nine remain under investigation. For March, the Army reported 13 potential suicides among active-duty Soldiers. Since the release of that report, four have been confirmed as suicides, and nine remain under investigation. During April 2010, among reserve Soldiers who were not on active duty, there were five potential suicides. For March, among that same group, there were nine total suicides. Of those, three were confirmed as suicides and seven are pending determination of the manner of death.
The Army is also announcing updated numbers for 2009 which now reflect 163 active-duty suicides. This adjustment is based on subsequent review of additional case information by the Armed Forces Medical Examiner, resulting in the re-characterization of two cases initially deemed to be accidental deaths, now confirmed as suicides, and one previous case now confirmed as a suicide.
“Although active-duty suicides are trending down this year, so far in 2010 we are noticing an upward trend in the number of non-active-duty suicides. There are some indications that our reservists are being doubly affected with additional stress by the challenging job market, recovering economy and uncertainty,” said Col. Chris Philbrick, director, Army Suicide Prevention Task Force.
“The Army continues engagement efforts with a multitude of veteran and military service organizations, other government agencies, concerned citizens, and the total Army Family to develop innovative and comprehensive strategies to help both our active and non-active duty Soldiers,” Philbrick said. “Given the complex nature of suicide, and the different environments our Soldiers serve in and return to, we welcome the opportunity to develop relationships and common approaches to this national challenge. Our Soldiers are representatives of our Nation.”
Soldiers and Families in need of crisis assistance can contact Military OneSource or the Defense Center of Excellence (DCoE) for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Outreach Center. Trained consultants are available from both organizations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
The Military OneSource toll-free number for those residing in the continental U.S. is 1-800-342-9647; their Web site address is www.militaryonesource.com. Overseas personnel should refer to the Military OneSource Web site for dialing instructions for their specific location.
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)