According to the LA Times, military suicides are averaging one per day. 154 military personal committed suicide in the first 155 days of the year, while combat deaths for the same time period were only 136.
Military suicide rates soared in 2009 before tapering off as the military began instituting programs encouraging service members to seek help for mental health issues, including suicide, and expanding treatment options.
The 154 suicides through June 3 this year was 24 more than during the same period last year – an 18% increase – according to an Associated Press analysis of Pentagon figures. The military had projected 136 suicides for the 2012 period based on rates in previous years, the AP reported.
This year’s totals are 25% higher than during the same period in 2010, and 16% higher than the same period in 2009 – the worst year so far for military suicides.
The army has suicide prevention programs in place and are also monitoring the use of medications, specifically anti-anxiety medication.