Staff Report

The Army released suicide data Friday for the month of September, according to a DOD release.
Among active-duty soldiers, there were 18 potential suicides in September. None have been confirmed as suicides and all 18 cases remain under investigation.

For August, the Army reported 13 potential suicides among active-duty soldiers. Since the release of that report, seven have been confirmed as suicides, and six remain under investigation.

During September, among reserve component soldiers who were not on active duty, there were eight potential suicides. For August, among that same group, there were 11 total suicides. Of those, four were confirmed as suicides and seven are pending determination of the manner of death.

Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli signed the charter for the Health Promotion, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention Council and Task Force on Sept. 29, Col. Chris Philbrick, deputy director of the Army Health Promotion’s Risk Reduction Task Force, said.

The two groups analyze and implement the more than 350 recommended changes to Army policy, procedures and processes proposed in the Army Health Promotion, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention Report released in July, he said.

The overarching goal, Philbrick said, is “to reduce instances of high-risk behavior among our soldiers, civilians and family members, who continue to serve under a high operational tempo, while reducing the stigma associated with help-seeking behavior.

“These aspects,” he continued, “are key components of the Army’s Health Promotion, Risk Reduction Campaign Plan.”

The Army continues its focus on suicide prevention efforts, beginning with the formation of the Suicide Prevention Task Force in early 2009. Trained consultants are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.