Army Suicides Reverse Trend


POSTED: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - 11:43am

UPDATED: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - 8:03pm

The number of suicides among active duty soldiers dropped slightly in 2010 after five years of record increases.

But the U.S. Army said today that among the Army National Guard and Reserve, the rate of suicide last year was twice as high as the year before.

The biggest increase involved soldiers who were not on active duty at the time.

Lt. Gen. Jack Stultz, Chief of the Army Reserve, says it is now putting a big emphasis on suicide training and making it not just about the soldier but the family as well.

"We've gotta reduce the stigma in that family member that says if I see my son/daughter/husband/wife doing something that's high risk, doing something I think is dangerous.. may endanger themselves.. it's okay for me to call their commander or First Sergeant or somebody in the that unit and say I need some help."

And an unexplained phenomenon: There is a huge disparity in the number of men and women who take their own lives.

Gen. Peter Chiarelli, Army Vice Chief of Staff, says seven-percent are women versus 93 percent men.

"I believe we're somewhere in the vicinity of 7-percent. 93-percent are in fact males. So we're not seeing anything in those numbers that would indicate. The resiliency of women.. I may be out of school to state this.. seems to be higher."

The number of active duty suicides declined in all services except for the U.S. Air Force last year.

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