we finally have an answer on what Congress has been asking for since last year Senators: Where's the Military Family Suicide Data?
Two senators want to know the status of information on the suicide rate for military family members, data the Pentagon was ordered to start collecting in 2014.Defense officials were ordered to standardize and collect that data as part of a larger measure on military suicide included in a 2014 law.
In First, Pentagon to Release Information on Military Dependent Suicides
By Patricia Kime
9 May 2019
The Pentagon will release a new annual report on active-duty military suicides this year -- one that will provide complete data for 2018 as well as a first-ever look at suicides among military family members.
In a hearing before the House Oversight and Reform national security subcommittee Wednesday, Navy Capt. Mike Colston, the Defense Department's mental health director, and Defense Suicide Prevention Office Director Karin Orvis said the new report will allow for more timely publication of suicide rates, which are a more accurate measure of trends than yearly tallies.
Currently, the DoD publishes quarterly reports of the number of deaths in the previous three months, with the year-end data included in the fourth-quarter report for the calendar year.
But the DoD has not published the final figures or the rates for 2018 and declined to provide them earlier this month when asked by Military.com. Instead, they will be included in the new report, called the Annual Suicide Report, expected this summer, officials said.
"The Annual Suicide Report will enable us to monitor trends in suicide over time and identify risk factors for protective factors for suicide," Orvis told lawmakers during the hearing.
The U.S. military in 2018 experienced the highest number of suicides among active-duty troops in six years, according to data compiled by Military.com from statistics provided by the services.
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