In the first 155 days of 2012, there were 154 suicides among active duty U.S. troops according to a report from Associated Press.
The AP analysis of Department of Defense data shows nearly a 50 percent more troops killed themselves than were killed by combat in Afghanistan.
The head of the Pentagon’s Defense Suicide Prevention office, Jackie Garrick, told AP Thursday that the suicide numbers this year are troubling.
“We are very concerned at this point that we are seeing a high number of suicides at a point in time where we were expecting to see a lower number of suicides,” she said, adding that the weak U.S. economy may be confounding preventive efforts even as the pace of military deployments eases.
Garrick said experts are still struggling to understand suicidal behavior.
“What makes one person become suicidal and another not is truly an unknown,” she said.
The Real Warriors campaign offers help to active-duty, Reserves and National Guard. You can call a trained health resource consultant to talk, listen and provide guidance and resources. Call 866-966-1020 or LOG ON — 24/7 — for Real Warriors Live Chat.
Veterans can call the Lifeline number, 1-800-273- TALK (8255), and press “1” to be routed to the Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline.