In the month of June, the army say their suicide rates rise to over 1 per day. According to Army statistics, this was the worst month they ever recorded, despite suffering 244 suicides 2009. The month’s final totals were:
- 32 total suicides;
- 21 were active-duty soldiers;
- 11 were National Guard or Reserve soldiers.
Of the total amount of suicides, 22 of those soldiers had experienced combat. Of those, 10 had a history of anywhere from 2-4 experiences in combat. A total of 7 soldiers who killed themselves did so while in combat.
Compared with 2009, the number of Army personnel committing suicide has declined. The sudden jump in numbers in June came as a huge shock to Army officials who saw their suicide prevention programs making progress among the troops through May.
The Army’s suicide prevention program attempts to reach soldiers on different levels using different approaches. The Army has identified specific stressors working against soldiers and veterans that can lead to suicide and has attempted to counter those. Two of the biggest problems facing soldiers and veterans today are:
- The ingrained military attitude that views psychological illnesses as weaknesses; and
- Mounting stress on soldiers resulting from multiple combat deployments.
The Army recently developed a training video focusing on combating military suicides. This replaces the Army’s earlier video, which fell flat with their audience. Approximately 22 soldiers per 100,000 take their own lives. This is above the civilian rate but just below the Marine Corps rate. Whatever the Army does, it needs to happen quickly; nobody wants to see another month like June.
If you are a veteran contemplating suicide, please know that there is help out there for you both within and outside the VA. In addition to counseling you may be eligible for vocational programs, housing programs, substance abuse treatment programs, and disability benefits.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.