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.
Filed under: Suicide Prevention, U.S. Army | Tagged: Army Times, military suicide prevention, Suicide, suicide standdown, United States Department of Defense, Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army |