The Army released today suicide data for the month of December and for 2010. During December, among active-duty soldiers, there were 12 potential suicides: one has been confirmed as suicide, and 11 remain under investigation. To compare and update, in November, the Army reported 11 potential suicides among active-duty soldiers. Since the release of that report, one has been confirmed as a suicide, and 10 remain under investigation. For 2010, there were 156 potential active-duty suicides of which 125 have been confirmed as suicides, and 31 remain under investigation.
During December, among reserve component soldiers who were not on active duty, there were 16 potential suicides: none have been confirmed as suicide, and 16 remain under investigation. To compare and update, in November among that same group, there were eight total suicides. Of those, two were confirmed as suicides and six are pending determination of the manner of death. For 2010, there were 145 potential not on active duty suicides of which 106 have been confirmed as suicide, and 39 remain under investigation.
“Our research and analysis of the suicide cases of this past year continue to reinforce that there are no universal solutions to address the complexities of personal, social and behavioral health issues that lead to suicide within the Army,” said Col. Chris Philbrick, deputy director, Army Health Promotion, Risk Reduction Task Force.
“Regrettably, the numbers of suicides in the Army family did not diminish in 2010, but, we are committed to educating and informing our soldiers and their families to better understand the increasing rate of suicides in the force and reduce the number of soldiers, civilians and family members we lose to suicide. Our unit leaders, first-line supervisors and close friends must continue to be vigilant to the warning signs of risky behavior, and to look for ways and opportunities to reach out to those who need help,” Philbrick said.
Soldiers and families in need of crisis assistance can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Trained consultants are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and can be contacted at 1–800-273-TALK (8255) or by visiting their website at http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
The Army’s comprehensive list of Suicide Prevention Program information is located at http://www.preventsuicide.army.mil.
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.
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 at 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 outreach center can be contacted at 1–866-966‑1020, and via electronic mail at http://www.dcoe.health.mil.
The website for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is at http://www.afsp.org, and the Suicide Prevention Resource Council site is found at http://www.sprc.org/index.asp.
The website for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors is at http://www.TAPS.org, and they can be reached at 1–800-959-TAPS (8277).
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)