In 2010, nearly 40,000 people in the U.S. committed suicide, making it the country's tenth leading cause of death.
Now suicide appears to be on the rise in the military, which reported a record number of suicides in 2012. According to The Associated Press, there were 349 suicides among active-duty troops last year. That was up from 301 in 2011, exceeding the Pentagon's own internal projection of 325. These numbers were made public Monday.
This is disconcerting to those in Huntsville, home to Redstone Arsenal, which is known as the Army's most capable weapon development center when it comes to missiles and helicopters.
Last year's total is the highest since the Pentagon began closely tracking suicides in 2001. To put it in perspective, consider this: More military personnel committed suicide last year than the number of soldiers, 295, who died in Afghanistan during that same time period.
The Pentagon is reportedly struggling to deal with suicide in the military. The problem, according to some experts, reflects strains on military personnel burdened with more than a decade of combat in Afghanistan and Iraq.
If you are considering suicide or know someone who might be, call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. In Huntsville, you can contact the Mental Health Center.