Experiencing a traumatic event is common among military service members who serve in hostile environments. Everyone reacts to traumatic experiences differently, and some service members or veterans may face emotional or psychological challenges such as feelings of anger, isolation, anxiety or guilt following an event or when they return home. These reactions, among others, can be common and expected responses to extraordinary events.
However, for some service members or veterans, these feelings may be signs of more serious conditions, like depression or post traumatic stress disorder. Service members coping with these concerns may feel like there is no escape from their symptoms, leading them to have thoughts of suicide or engage in high risk behavior.
(Credit: Guardian Graphics)
In 2012, the number of suicides, across all branches of the military, surpassed the number of combat deaths. In all, 349 service members took their own lives, and 295 died in combat. The highest number since the pentagon began gathering the data in 2001.
So far in 2013, military suicide rates are down. Every branch has seen a decrease, with the Navy down 28 percent, the Army 24 percent, the Air Force 21 percent and the Marine Corps 11 percent.
Military Suicide Prevention and related resources, links and downloadables
- Military Health Chief discusses Suicide Prevention Efforts
- Army G-1 Suicide Prevention Program
- Military OneSource - a link to their Crisis and Prevention resources
- U.S. Department of Defense - Suicide Prevention and Awareness Articles and resources
- Military Update
Branch Specific Links
- The Army Suicide Prevention Program - Link to Booklet
- The Army Reserve Suicide Prevention Program - Suicide is Everyones Business.
- Air Force Suicide Prevention Program - Link to Website
- Air Force Suicide Prevention Program - (Download)
- Navy Personnel Command - Suicide Prevention
- Coast Guard Suicide Prevention Program
- National Guard Psychological Health Program
Military Suicide Prevention articles
- U.S. Military's Suicide Rate Surpasses Combat Deaths in 2012 - NPR
- One Every 18 Hours: Military suicide rate still high despite hard fight to stem deaths - NBC News
- Military Suicide articles - from the Huffington Post. A number of articles relating to suicide in the military