Friday, May 30, 2008

More on Military and Suicide

Suicide Rate for Soldiers Rose in '07:

WASHINGTON (AP) — At least 115 soldiers killed themselves in 2007, up from 102 the previous year, the Army said Thursday. Nearly one-third of them died at the battlefront, 32 in Iraq and 4 in Afghanistan. But 26 percent had never been sent to either conflict.

The 115 confirmed suicides among active-duty soldiers and National Guard and Reserve troops who had been activated amounted to a rate of 18.8 per 100,000 troops — the highest since the Army began keeping records in 1980.

Ninety-three of the 115 suicides were active-duty troops; 22 were members of the Army National Guard or Reserve who had been mobilized. There were also 166 attempted suicides among troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and 935 in the whole Army. As of Monday, there had been 38 confirmed suicides in 2008 and 12 more deaths that were suspected of being suicides but were still under investigation, said Lt. Col. Thomas E. Languirand, head of command policies and programs.

And keep in mind that, sadly, these statistics related to completed and attempted suicides are of active-duty personnel. As I've written previously, the rates of suicide and attempted suicide amongst veterans no longer in active service are also alarmingly high.

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