Army Suicide Record Set in July
Sunday, August 19, 2012
Despite the winding down of the Afghanistan war and stronger mental health initiatives, the U.S. Army experienced its worst month in July with suicides.
A total of 38 soldiers killed themselves last month, making it the highest monthly total since the Army began releasing such figures in 2009.
Of the 38 suicides, 26 were active-duty personnel and 12 were either National Guardsmen or reservists not in uniform at the time of their deaths.
If the suicides continue on this pace for the remainder of 2012, the Army would lose about 200 active-duty troops this year, which would represent the highest yearly total in the past 10 years.
Army officials were disheartened by the news. They had hoped the reduction in combat deployments, along with new initiatives to improve mental health care, would result in a drop in the suicide rate.
July was a bad month not only for the Army but also other branches of the military. The Marine Corps recorded eight suicides, making July its worst month in 2012.
The Air Force had six in July, compared with two in June. The Navy had four last month. The Associated Press said the Navy’s June suicide total was not immediately available.
To Learn More:
July Marked Worst Month for Army Suicides (by Greg Jaffe, Washington Post)
Army Suicides Doubled Last Month from June's Total (by Robert Burns, Associated Press)
U.S. Troop Suicides Surge (Again) (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)
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