USA — Army Releases April Suicide Data

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 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)