The Army’s investment in suicide prevention appears to be paying off, with the first drop among active duty soldiers in five years. However the number of National Guardsmen and reservists who killed themselves—half of whom never saw combat—nearly doubled in the last year.
The Washington Post:
The officials said they were puzzled by the significant increase in the number of suicides in National Guard and Reserve units, which almost doubled from 80 deaths in 2009 to 145 deaths in 2010.
“If you think you know the one thing that causes people to commit suicide, please let us know, because we don’t know what it is,” [Army vice chief of staff Gen. Peter] Chiarelli said.
About half of the National Guard and Reserve soldiers who killed themselves last year had never deployed to a combat zone; by contrast, about two-thirds of the active-duty soldiers who killed themselves had previously deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, or were there when they took their lives.