The Army released suicide data for the month of August today. Among active duty soldiers, there were 11 potential suicides, all of which are pending determination of the manner of death. In July, the Army reported no confirmed suicides and eight potential suicides among active duty soldiers. However, since the release of the July report, an additional four potential suicides have been reported, each of which is pending determination of the manner of death. As a result, for the month of July, there were 12 potential suicides. Two of those have been confirmed as suicides and ten remain under investigation.
There were 110 reported active duty Army suicides from January 2009 through August 2009. Of those, 71 have been confirmed, and 39 are pending determination of manner of death. For the same period in 2008, there were 89 suicides among active duty soldiers.
During August 2009, among reserve component soldiers who were not on active duty, there were six potential suicides. Among that same group, from January 2009 through August 2009, there were 20 confirmed suicides. Thirty-four potential suicides are currently under investigation to determine the manner of death. For the same period in 2008, there were 36 suicides among reserve soldiers who were not on active duty.
“Effective suicide prevention programs and resources that are accessible to our soldiers and families are a crucial part of our effort, and we’re making progress in these areas,” said General Peter W. Chiarelli, Army Vice Chief of Staff. “We recognize that the crucial link in preventing suicides is caring, concerned, and decisive small-unit leadership. There will never be a substitute for noncommissioned officers who know their soldiers, know when a soldier is suffering, and have the moral courage to act and get that soldier the help that they need.”
Since publishing the Army Campaign Plan for Health Promotion, Risk Reduction, and Suicide Prevention on April 16, 2009, the Army has implemented numerous improvements to its suicide prevention programs. Among those improvements are Army-wide guidance for delivering health promotion, risk reduction, and suicide prevention programs and services directly to soldiers and their families at the installation level.
Soldiers and families in need of crisis assistance should contact Military OneSource or the Defense Center of Excellence (DCOE) for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Outreach Center. Trained consultants are available from both organizations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
The Military OneSource toll-free number for those residing in the continental United States is 1-800-342-9647, and their Web site address is http://www.militaryoncesource.com . Overseas personnel should refer to the Military OneSource Web site for dialing instructions for their specific location. The DCOE Outreach Center can be contacted at 1-866-966-1020, via electronic mail at http://Resources@DCoEOutreach.org , and at http://www.dcoe.health.mil .
The Army's most current suicide prevention information is located at http://www.armyg1.army.mil/hr/suicide/default.asp.