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Let's Talk About It with Jenny White/Military Suicides

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According to a report released this week by the Defense Suicide Prevention Office, 139 active-duty soldiers, 68 sailors, 60 airmen and 58 Marines died by suicide last year, 40 more service members than the previous year. This figure is higher than the sum of deaths reported by the individual services in January, and exceeds the previous record of 321 in 2012. The army in 2017 saw 114 deaths by suicide, the Navy, 65, and the Marine Corps, 43. Only the Air Force saw a decline in suicide from the previous year. In 2017, it had 63.

An analysis of Defense Department suicides in 2017 published this year found that roughly half of those who completed suicide that year had a known mental health condition and half had contact with the military health system with 90 days of their deaths. Most were male (90%) and white (81%) and more than half had a history of deployment (57%).