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Old 07-04-2023, 12:27 PM
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Unhappy Pentagon Reports Quarterly Suicides Up 25% in 2023

Pentagon Reports Quarterly Suicides Up 25% in 2023
By: Charles Kim - Newsmax 07-04-23

The number of suicides in the United States military increased 25% in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same period last year, the Pentagon’s Defense Suicide Prevention Office reports.

According to the report, 94 active-duty troops committed suicide in the first quarter between Jan. 1 and March 31, 2023, compared to 74 that committed suicide during the same period last year, resulting in a 25% increase.

That number includes an increase of 12 regular army troops, six more Marines, one more Air Force, and two members each in the Reserves of the four main branches, as well as four suicides in both the Army and Air National Guard.

No suicides were reported in the newly created Space Force, according to the report.

The 94 reported suicides so far this year is above the quarterly average of 83 going back to 2016, but not the highest quarterly number recorded in that period.

The office reported 113 suicides in the third quarter of 2020, followed by 101 in the fourth quarter, as well as 101 in the fourth quarter of 2019.

The lowest number of quarterly suicides reported during the period was 58 in the second quarter of 2017, according to the report.

The report, however, said those reviewing the numbers should be careful in how they are interpreted.

“Caution should be used when making comparisons across groups and/or interpreting changes in suicide counts across time because counts do not account for changes in population size,” the report warned. “Rates account for differences in population sizes; and, as such, provide a more standardized way to make comparisons over time or across groups.”

The report showed the Army with the highest number of suicides at 49 during the quarter, compared to 37 troops last year.

A spokesman for the Army told the Air Force Times that the branch was “working urgently but deliberately to complete this effort.”

Stars and Stripes reported that the DOD enacted the Brandon Act that encourages troops to seek out mental health services confidentially.

“There is still a gradual increasing trend for suicide in the military over a 10-year period, and we need to see a sustained long-term reduction in suicide rates to know if we're really making progress,” Beth Foster, executive director of the Pentagon's Force Resiliency Office, told Stars and Stripes when the 2021 Annual Report on Suicide in the Military came out in the fall.

According to the news outlet, there were 29 suicides per 100,000 troops in 2020, an increase from 17.5 per 100,000 in 2010.

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O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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