Saturday, March 23, 2013

DOD expects to increase 2012 suicide death reports

Officials Uphold Commitment to Suicide Prevention Solutions
U.S. Department of Defense
By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service
DOD officials saw leveling in suicide rates for 2010 and 2011, Garrick told the House panel, but they expect an increase in the suicide rate for 2012 upon the completion of investigations and final determinations of manner of death.

WASHINGTON, March 21, 2013 – A panel of Defense Department and service officials told Congress today their efforts to address military suicides will persist.

Jacqueline Garrick, acting director of the Defense Suicide Prevention Office, told the House Armed Services Committee’s military personnel subcommittee the service member suicide rate had increased from 10.3 to 18.3 per 100,000.

For 2010, Garrick said, the U.S. suicide rate for males, ages 17 to 60 – an age demographic that best matches the armed forces -- was 25.1 per 100,000, which rose from 21.8 per 100,000 in 2001.

“DOD fervently believes that every one life lost to suicide is one too many, and prevention is everybody’s responsibility,” she said. “This fight will take enormous collective action and the implementation of proven and effective initiatives.”

Garrick and service representatives outlined how their programs incorporate the latest research and information on suicide prevention and how leaders are tackling the problem.

“While physical injuries may be easier to see, there are many invisible wounds such as depression, anxiety [and] post-traumatic stress that also take a significant toll on our service members,” said Lt. Gen. Howard B. Bromberg, the Army’s deputy chief of staff for personnel. “ … Suicidal behavior is an urgent national problem that affects all Americans across all dimensions of society, including those who have chosen to serve the nation.”
Garrick also noted the expansion of “Partners in Care,” a chaplain program in which faith-based organizations provide support to Guard and reserve service members. read more here

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