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Military suicides a 'national public health problem'

From the beginning of the year to June 3, suicides among active duty U.S. military servicemembers averaged nearly one per day, according to an Associated Press analysis. Hospitalizations of troops with mental disorders such as suicidal or homicidal intent and debilitating psychosis reached a 10-year high in 2011.

RUSSELL MIDORI/DVIDS

By Published: June 16, 2012

Following reports of yet another spike in suicides among U.S. servicemembers, the Defense Department plans to hold its annual conference next week on suicide prevention, the Army Times reports.

Hosted by the Defense Centers of Excellence, the four-day meeting that starts Wednesday will feature some high-ranking officials, including Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, according to the Army Times. The conference is schedule for June 20-23.

The Associated Press recently reported that the rate of suicides among active duty personnel in 2012 so far is averaging one a day. According to the AP report, there were 154 suicides between Jan. 1 and June 3, based on DOD statistics.

Jackie Garrick, the head of the Defense Suicide Prevention Office, was quoted by the Army Times as charactizing the issue as a "national public health problem."

Source: Army Times

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