The Army released suicide data today for the month of July. Among active-duty soldiers, there were 12 potential suicides: three were confirmed as suicides, and nine remain under investigation. For June, the Army reported 21 potential suicides among active-duty soldiers. Since the release of that report, 10 have been confirmed as suicides, and 11 remain under investigation.
During July 2010, among reserve component soldiers who were not on active duty, there were 15 potential suicides. For June, among that same group, there were 11 suicides. Of those, five were confirmed as suicides and six are pending determination of the manner of death.
“Suicide prevention is much more than thwarting that last final act of desperation. It is increasing awareness and education in order to preclude members of the Army family from ever getting to the point where suicide might be considered an alternative to asking for help,” said Col. Chris Philbrick, director, Army Suicide Prevention Task Force.
“The Army Health Promotion, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention Report released last month is the result of a 15-month effort to better understand high-risk behavior and suicides in the Army. The report is intended to inform and educate on the importance of recognizing and reducing high-risk behavior related to suicide and accidental death, and reducing the stigma associated with seeking behavioral health treatment,” Philbrick said.
Soldiers and families in need of crisis assistance can 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, seven days a week, and 365 days a year.
The Military OneSource toll-free number for those residing in the continental United States is 1-800-342-9647; their Web site address is http://www.militaryonesource.com. Overseas personnel should refer to the Military OneSource Web site for dialing instructions for their specific location.
The Army's comprehensive list of Suicide Prevention Program information is located at http://www.armyg1.army.mil/hr/suicide/default.asp.
Army leaders can access current health promotion guidance in newly revised Army Regulation 600-63 (Health Promotion) at: http://www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/pdf/r600_63.pdf and Army Pamphlet 600-24 (Health Promotion, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention) at http://www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/pdf/p600_24.pdf.
Suicide prevention training resources for Army Families can be accessed at http://www.armyg1.army.mil/hr/suicide/training_sub.asp?sub_cat=20. (Requires Army Knowledge Online access to download materials.)
The DCoE Outreach Center can be contacted at 1-866-966-1020, via electronic mail at Resources@DCoEOutreach.org and at http://www.dcoe.health.mil.
Information about the Army’s Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program is located at http://www.army.mil/csf.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: http://www.afsp.org.
Suicide Prevention Resource Council: http://www.sprc.org/index.asp.