6 Suicide Trends That Trouble Army Officials

This photo is courtesy of the Graham family. Second Lt. Jeffrey Graham, left, and ROTC cadet Kevin Graham, right, were the sons of Maj. Gen. Mark Graham and his wife Carol. The brothers died within months of each other. Jeffrey fell in combat and Kevin took his own life. Their parents use this image when they speak publicly about suicide prevention. A link to the Graham family story is below.

The Army is on a service-wide standdown today to focus on suicide prevention.

“Suicide is the toughest enemy I have faced in my 37 years in the Army,” Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Lloyd Austin III told the Army Times.

Six troubling trends

• More soldiers are dying by suicide than in combat.

• The service is on track to reach its highest suicide rate yet — 29 suicides per 100,000 soldiers per year, more than three times the rate in 2004 and a more than a 25 percent increase from last year.

• More noncommissioned officers and soldiers with multiple deployments are committing suicide.

• Some soldiers are falling through the cracks. A Defense Department study showed 45 percent of service members who died by suicide were seen by military health care professionals in the 30 days before their deaths.

• Despite efforts by the Army, soldiers still worry about the stigma attached to seeking help.

• 75 percent of those who attempted suicide were seen somewhere in the outpatient health care system within 30 days before their suicide attempt.

Retired Maj. Gen. Mark Graham, the former G-3 for Forces Command and former commanding general of 4th Infantry Division, lost one son to an IED another to suicide. He speaks out about his loss.

You can read more on the Army Times Special Report: Losing the War on Suicide.

If you need help or know someone who is at risk, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255.


One Response

  1. I understand Officers, but the problem has is origin on years of war and stress due to war’s theatre, that is not a “walking”. This men have traversed and supported long deployement, reported TBI, seen horrific scenes, not usually for a man. For these other aspects TBI has worsen and has became PTSD. PTSD, if no tempestivily diagnosed and cared, may drive to thoughts suicide and suicide.
    The problem is now how we may aid these warriors, also we that live on civil society. Thoughts and hearts have not border and we may say them, and is is true, :”You are not alone buddies, as we are with you and you live on our hearts and minds. Even if at distance we known your problems and live them with you every moment. God is near you and done you confort. We pray him to done comfort also for us. I pray you, buddies: “When you have a problem, a thought suicide, speak with your brothers, ask aid, do not exithate: this is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of men who known their situation and, undertanding that man is not a isle, ask help to other men. This is resilience and skill”. Claudio Alpaca

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