The Army released suicide data today for the month of June. Among active duty soldiers, there were 21 potential suicides: one was confirmed as a suicide, and 20 remain under investigation. For May, the Army reported 10 potential suicides among active duty soldiers. Since the release of that report, four have been confirmed as suicides, and six remain under investigation.
During June 2010, among reserve component soldiers who were not on active duty, there were 11 potential suicides: one was confirmed as suicide, and 10 remain under investigation. For May, among that same group, there were 13 total suicides. Of those, two were confirmed as suicides and 11 are pending determination of the manner of death.
For reference, the Army's total for the first half of calendar year 2009 was 88 for active duty and 42 for reserve component soldiers who were not on active duty. For the first half of 2010, the totals were 80 for active duty and 65 for reserve component soldiers who were not on active duty.
"Our suicide prevention efforts must continue to be directed at all members of the Army family – our soldiers, Department of the Army civilians and families – during the busy summertime transition period," said Col. Chris Philbrick, director, Army Suicide Prevention Task Force. "The crucial elements are still caring, concern and decisive leadership. There will never be a substitute for a noncommissioned officer, first-line supervisor or friend who knows when a person is suffering and has the moral courage to act and get that individual the help they need. That ability to make a positive difference is the best method to render effective suicide prevention in the Army," 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, 7 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 .
Source: Department of Defense announcement, verbatim