WASHINGTON – The number of suspected suicides increased among reserve-component soldiers last month as compared to the month prior, and the Army’s head of suicide prevention stressed today the availability of help for all soldiers and their families, particularly during the Army’s peak transition season.
„The summer season traditionally represents the Army’s peak transition timeframe, as soldiers, families and Department of the Army civilians relocate between commands and installations,“ Col. Chris Philbrick, director of the Army Suicide Prevention Task Force, said. „This turbulent period often compounds the amount of stress faced by our Army and members of the Army family. Everyone needs to know that despite an increase of anxiety or pressure, help is readily available, especially during these transition periods.
„We are making every effort to maintain contact with soldiers, families and civilians and sustain the Army’s efforts to provide comprehensive behavioral health resources and support,“ he continued. „We simply cannot afford to have any member of the Army family fall through the cracks when dealing with the additional stress transition.“
Among active duty soldiers, there were nine potential suicides in May; all remain under investigation. For April, the Army reported 10 potential suicides among active duty soldiers. Since the release of that report, four have been confirmed as suicides and six remain under investigation.
Among reserve-component soldiers not on active duty, there were 12 potential suicides in May; two have been confirmed and 10 remain under investigation.
Among that same group in April, there were seven potential suicides. Of those, two were confirmed as suicides and five still are being investigated.
Soldiers and families in need of crisis assistance are encouraged to contact Military OneSource or the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Outreach Center. Trained consultants are available from both organizations around the clock, 365 days a year.
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)