Suicide & the Soldier

Some sobering statistics…

A 2009 study in the Journal of Mental Health Counseling reports that:
– The suicide rate for American males in the age group 15–24 is 10.3 per 100,000
– In the US military – where 50 percent of males are between 17 and 26 – the rate could be as high as 21 per 100,000.

That’s twice the rate in the civilian population.

Currently, the suicide rate for active and retired military personnel is clocking in at one per day — a 30-year high.

We’ve reached the point where more military personnel have died from suicide than from battlefield fatalities since 2003.

These numbers don’t account for veterans taking their own lives through car accidents, alcohol abuse, and other means that are not recorded as suicides, but are common causes of fatal (sometimes intentional) injury in the veteran population.

A related study in the same journal posits three main variables that contribute to suicide among combat veterans:
– Perceived burdensomeness
– Thwarted belongingness
– Acquired capability for suicide

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