US Army Suicide Rate at 30-year High


This article in today's Telegraph reveals that 128 US soldiers committed suicide last year.

The new suicide figure compares with 115 in 2007 and 102 in 2006 and is the highest since record keeping began in 1980. Officials calculate the deaths at a rate of roughly 20.2 per 100,000 soldiers – which is higher than the adjusted civilian rate for the first time since the Vietnam War, officials told a Pentagon news conference.

Officials have said that troops are under tremendous and unprecedented stress because of repeated and long tours of duty due to the simultaneous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The stress has placed further burdens on an overwhelmed military health care system also trying to tend to huge numbers of troops suffering from post-traumatic stress, depression and other mental health problems as well as physical wounds and injuries of tens of thousands.

I am amazed that the rate (adjusted for the population type) has only just started to exceed the civilian rate, I would have thought it would be consistently higher.

Furthermore, I wonder if there are similar figures published for the British Army, or if they are buried under a FOI request somewhere.

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