Military Suicide Increased In 2015

Posted: June 25, 2016 in Uncategorized
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All active-duty branches of the military saw an increase in suicides in the third quarter of 2015, according to data released Monday by the Pentagon.

The Marine Corps saw the largest increase in the third quarter of 2015 compared to the same time period the previous year, according to the quarterly suicide report. Thirteen active-duty Marines took their life in the third quarter of 2013, which dipped to six suicides in 2014. In 2015, however, the number was back up to 13, an increase over the previous year of 117 percent.

The Navy saw an increase from seven to 11 suicides during this time period, the Air Force saw a jump from 13 to 16 and the Army saw the smallest increase from 31 suicides to 32 between July and September of last year.

“The Department of Defense continues to consider any suicides too many and we’re doing everything we can to prevent suicide in our military,” Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said. “A number of different methods we have that the services are employing we believe are effective, but they do take time.”

The number of suicides among most branches of the reserve and National Guard also saw an increase. The Air Force reserve remained static.

Suicide among members of the military has been a hot topic for lawmakers on Capitol Hill. The omnibus spending bill signed by the president last year included funding for a study undertaken by the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs to study the effect of combat deployments on suicide rates among veterans, according to a New York Times report.

The bill had originally also included a study of suicide rates among active-duty military members that was stripped out of the final version. Sen. Michael Bennett, D-Colo., said he is working to restore the study of active-duty troops, the New York Times reported.

The bill requires that the study of veterans, on which the Veterans Affairs Department is taking the lead, will begin within a month.

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