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Alarming rise in US military suicides in 2015

6 January 2016 7:16


An official US report says the US military saw an alarming increase in suicide cases over the third quarter of 2015.

According to the report released by the US Defense Suicide Prevention Office on Monday, statistics showed a rise in suicides for all branches -active and reserve segments- of American military over July, August and September of last year.

The report, making a comparison to the same period in 2014, revealed that 57 suicides were recorded in the active duty military in the third quarter of 2014, while the quarterly report documented an increase to 72 cases in 2015. As for the reserves, estimates showed an uptick from 48 to 70 suicides over this period from 2014.

It further noted that suicides in the active-duty Marine Corps jumped from 6 to 13, in the active duty Navy, from 7 to 11, in the active duty Air Force, from 13 to 16, and in the active duty Army, from 31 to 32.

The report estimated a total of 363 suicides for both the active duty military and the reserves by December 15, 2015, only two cases more than throughout all of 2014.

Statistics in some branches were reported more dramatic than in the others, but overall, the figures fueled concerns.

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

The report declined any comments or analysis on root causes of the suicides however.

America’s perpetual engagement in overseas wars and the lack of adequate care for veterans returning home are frequently cited as the main reasons behind such alarming figures.

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