Army issues report on suicides, at-risk behaviors

Last year, 239 U.S. soldiers -- 160 of whom were on active duty -- killed themselves and an additional 1,713 attempted suicide, according to the results of a 15-month study (.pdf file) released last week by the U.S. Army. In addition, 146 soldiers died after engaging in high-risk activities, including 74 who overdosed on drugs.

The report linked risky behavior to stressors such as relationship problems, work stress and brushes with the law, as well as a lack of accountability within the Army.

The report contains more than 200 recommendations, including:

  • Improve efforts to identify at-risk soldiers
  • Reduce the stigma around behavioral health care
  • Enhance policies to improve alcohol and drug reporting
  • Implement programs to ensure accountability and discipline in the barracks
Suicides among soldiers have been on the rise since 2004.

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