The Pentagon has released the 2012 figures for suicides in the military, and the news is grim. On Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, CBS News reported that there were 349 suicides in the military in 2012 which was more than the 295 American soldiers who died in Afghanistan! Sadly, according to the report, the trend is expected to worsen.
Mercury News reports that Congress is not happy with this report and wants the military to do more to combat this horrible trend.
This is an epidemic that cannot be ignored," Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said Monday. "As our newest generation of service members and veterans face unprecedented challenges, today's news shows we must be doing more to ensure they are not slipping through the cracks."
Leon Panetta has called the record level of suicides in the military as an epidemic. The breakdown of the suicide statistics among the services are as follows, as reported by CBS News:
- Army: 182
- Marines: 48
- Navy: 60
- Air Force: 59
The Army War College Community Banner covered the Army’s observance of National Suicide Prevention Month in September 2012. They offered the following analysis of the crisis of suicide in the military:
Defeating suicide will take active involvement from everyone. Civilian and military research on suicide has demonstrated that it is a complex phenomenon which defies easy solutions. The Army has expanded access to services and programs to help Soldiers and family members improve their ability to cope with the stresses associated with military service (i.e. separation, deployments, financial pressures, etc.)
The Pentagon provides the following contact information for assistance:
The Defense Department's toll-free military crisis number is 800-273-8255.
Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors: www.taps.org
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