Army to release numbers of suicides monthly
Published: March 5, 2009
From now on the Army will release the number of soldiers who have committed suicide each month. Thats a change from the once-a-year release policy theyve been following as suicides continue at alarming rates.
In February, two soldiers took their lives and another 16 deaths are suspected suicides, the Army announced on Thursday. That compares with 12 confirmed suicides and 12 suspected suicides in January.
The number of soldiers who have killed themselves increased from 115 in 2007 to 143 in 2008.
The Army has launched a number of initiatives to combat suicides, including extra training for soldiers and launching a study into suicide and suicidal behavior.
And the new monthly release is designed to further highlight the importance of the issue.
We want to make sure everyone involved in suicide prevention from senior leaders to the most junior soldier understands the seriousness with which we are looking at this problem, said Lt. Col. George Wright.