WASHINGTON, DC (August 13) — The Army released suicide data for the month of July today. Among active duty Soldiers, there were eight potential suicides in July. In June, the Army reported no confirmed suicides and nine potential suicides among active duty Soldiers. Since the June report, four of the nine potential suicides have been confirmed as suicides, and five remain under investigation.
There were 96 reported active duty Army suicides from January 2009 through July 2009. Of those, 62 have been confirmed, and 34 are pending determination of manner of death. For the same period in 2008, there were 79 suicides among active duty Soldiers.
During July 2009, among reserve component Soldiers who were not on active duty, there were four potential suicides. Among that same group, from January 2009 through July 2009, there were 17 confirmed suicides and 28 potential suicides; the potential suicides are currently under investigation to determine the manner of death. For the same period in 2008, there were 32 suicides among reserve Soldiers who were not on active duty.
The Army's Suicide Prevention Task Force has implemented a number of improvements to the Army's health promotion, risk reduction, and suicide prevention programs in recent weeks. These improvements include the completion of major revisions to Army health promotion policy, and augmenting behavioral health staffs at many installations to allow greater access to counseling services for Soldiers and Families.
"It's not that the Army lacks programs to confront the problem of suicide," said Brig. Gen. Colleen McGuire, Director, Army Suicide Prevention Task Force. "The long-term challenge is determining which programs are most effective for our Soldiers, and ensuring Army leaders, from junior noncommissioned officers to the most senior leaders, know how to help their Soldiers take advantage of these programs."
Soldiers and Families in need of crisis assistance should contact Military OneSource or the Defense Center of Excellence (DCOE) for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Outreach Center. Trained consultants are available from both organizations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
The Military OneSource toll-free number for those residing in the continental U.S. is <b>1-800-342-9647</b>, their Web site address is <b><a href="http://www.militaryonesource.com">www.militaryoncesource.com</a></b>. Overseas personnel should refer to the Military OneSource Web site for dialing instructions for their specific location.
The DCOE Outreach Center can be contacted at <b>1-866-966-1020</b>, via electronic mail at <b><a href="mailto:Resources@DCoEOutreach.org">Resources@DCoEOutreach.org</a></b> and at <b><a href="http://www.dcoe.health.mil/resources.aspx">www.dcoe.health.mil</a></b>.
The Army's most current suicide prevention information is located at <b><a href="http://www.armyg1.army.mil/hr/suicide/">www.armyg1.army.mil</a></b>.
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