Suicide is a national health problem in the United States, not just in the general population but also within our Military Branches and the National Guard. The Jason Foundation, Inc. is dedicated to the prevention of suicide through educational programs that provide the tools and resources to help identify those who may be at risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
In 2010, suicides in the Army, National Guard, and Army Reserve increased by 24.4%. Among the National Guard and Army Reserve in 2010, the number of suicides almost doubled from 2009. On average, 25 soldiers (both active duty and inactive status) were lost to suicide every month in 2010. 58.1% of the active duty suicides were soldiers who had been deployed one or more times, and 48.9% of suicides were soldiers who had not been deployed.
Deploying to combat essentially doubles a soldier’s risk of developing illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, or alcohol abuse. 17% to 18% of troops meet the criteria for some mental disorder. War-zone deployments, substance abuse, and marital and financial problems have been cited as factors that lead to suicide. However, there is no typical profile of deaths by suicide.
In the general population, suicide is the 11th leading cause of death for all ages, the third leading cause of death for youth aged 10-24 years old, and the second leading cause of death for college-aged youth. More than 34,000 Americans are lost to suicide each year.
Suicide is Preventable
What can be done?