US military suicides exceed combat deaths

2013-01-15 08:10

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - The number of US troops committing suicide set a record in 2012, exceeding the number of combat deaths, the Pentagon said on Monday.

The Pentagon said 349 active-duty troops killed themselves in 2012, up more than 15% from 2011 despite renewed efforts by the military to stem the suicide rate.

"This is an epidemic that cannot be ignored," said Senator Patty Murray, who championed legislation last year to improve suicide prevention efforts and mental health care for troops and veterans.

"As our newest generation of service members and veterans face unprecedented challenges, today's news shows we must be doing more to ensure they are not slipping through the cracks."

Suicide prevention efforts

The army, as the largest service, counted the biggest number of suicides, with 182 soldiers killing themselves in 2012, according to preliminary figures. The navy had 60 suicides, the air force had 59 and the marines had 48.

The figures were first reported by the Associated Press.

The Pentagon pointed to steps to bolster suicide prevention efforts, including expanding a suicide prevention hotline. Still, US defence secretary Leon Panetta last year acknowledged that the suicides were the most frustrating issue he had faced since taking over the Pentagon in 2011.

"Despite the increased efforts, the increased attention, the trends continue to move in a troubling and tragic direction," Panetta told at a joint Pentagon-department of veterans affairs suicide prevention conference in June.

The suicide figures far surpassed the 237 US troops killed in action last year in Afghanistan, as well as the 313 killed in support of the Afghan war more broadly - a figure that includes deaths outside the country. It was the highest number of suicides since the United States went to war in Afghanistan in 2001.

The department of veterans affairs estimates that, roughly, a veteran commits suicide once every 80 minutes in America, a trend that may be worsening.

Last year, Reuters reached out to every state in the United States to inquire about suicides among veterans. Data collected from 32 states showed an increase in suicides between 2005 to 2010.

Read more on:    us  |  war
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
9 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Month End Madness Sale!

Save up to 60% on across a wide range of goods from books to electronics, DVDs and many more. Sale end 31 January 2015. Shop now!

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a tendency to be too fixed on a set way of doing things today. You may get challenged and the best approach is to keep an...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.