The Army released suicide data today for the month of September. Among active-duty soldiers, there were 16 potential suicides: two have been confirmed as suicide and 14 remain under investigation. For August 2011, the Army reported 19 potential suicides among active-duty soldiers. Since the release of that report, four cases have been confirmed as suicide and 15 cases remain under investigation.
During September 2011, among reserve component soldiers who were not on active duty, there were six potential suicides: two have been confirmed as suicide and four remain under investigation. For August 2011, the Army reported nine potential suicides among not-on-active-duty soldiers. Since the release of that report, one case has been added for a total of 10 cases. Three cases have been confirmed as suicide and seven cases remain under investigation.
“There is nothing more important than the health and well-being of our soldiers, DA civilians, and family members,” said Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army’s Chief of Staff. “We need each and every member of our team. One suicide is one too many. Prevention and intervention efforts must be at the top of our priorities. They are also critical to maintaining trust, the bedrock of our profession. Soldiers must trust their fellow soldiers and their leaders to help them through difficult times. Leaders can make a difference, one soldier at a time, by recognizing and responding to high risk behavior early. I believe it is a sign of strength to ask for help.”
Soldiers and families in need of crisis assistance can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Trained consultants are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and can be contacted by dialing 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or by visiting their website at http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org .
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 .
The Army’s comprehensive list of Suicide Prevention Program information is located at http://www.preventsuicide.army.mil .
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).
Information about Military OneSource is located at http://www.militaryonesource.com or by dialing the toll-free number 1-800-342-9647 for those residing in the continental United States. Overseas personnel should refer to the Military OneSource website for dialing instructions for their specific location.
Information about the Army’s Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program is located at http://www.army.mil/csf/.
The Defense Center for Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (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 .
The website for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is http://www.afsp.org/, and the Suicide Prevention Resource Council site is found at http://www.sprc.org/index.asp .
The website for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors is http://www.TAPS.org, and they can be reached at 1-800-959-TAPS (8277).