According to a new Pentagon study, suicides among U.S. Army active-duty troops rose by 46% in the most recent quarter compared to the same period in 2020.
Compared to the second quarter of 2020, which saw 41 active-duty Army personnel commit suicide, 60 soldiers committed suicide in quarter two this year.
In the second quarter of last year, there were 12 suicides among Navy personnel; by 2021, that figure rose by 41% to 17.
Between April and June, 139 active-duty and reserve military members from all branches committed suicide, up from 130 in the same time the previous year. This includes both active and reserve members.
In contrast, the total number of military personnel who have died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic totals 67.
Pentagon: 46% spike in suicide among U.S. Army’s active-duty forces in Q2 compared to same period last year pic.twitter.com/ukOxqNEjFO
— Lucas Tomlinson (@LucasFoxNews) October 13, 2021
Suicides in the military rose by 15% last year, spurred by substantial rises in the Army and Marine Corps that top officials deem alarming. They recommend even greater efforts to be made to turn the trend around.
There were 580 suicides last year, up from 504 the year before, according to statistics. Army National Guard suicides increased by around 35%, from 76 in 2019 to 103 last year, while active-duty Army suicides increased by roughly 20%.
Suicides in the Marine Corps rose over 30%, from 47 to 62, while those in the Marine Corps Reserves rose from 9 to 10.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin described the findings as “troubling.” Adding, “Suicide rates among our service members and military families are still too high, and the trends are not going in the right direction.”
According to a study published this summer, at least 30,177 American servicemen and veterans who served in post—9/11 wars committed suicide. According to the survey, this number is at least four times more than the 7,057 service members who died in action during the same period.
This summer, the figures were released after a study by the Cost of War Project, a collaboration between Brown University and Boston University.
The report cautions suicide rates will continue to rise unless the United States government and society change how we deal with the mental health crises facing our service personnel and veterans.