In 2012, there were 349 military suicides. There were 311 combat-related deaths.
Then there was this: “More than half of troops who killed themselves had never deployed from the U.S., and 85 percent never saw combat.”
What is going on here?
First, most suicides were in the Army and Marines.
Second, there was a higher percentage in newly formed units.
The military says it is working to reduce this figure, but the problem has persisted for years.
Data collected from 2010 showed that half of all service members who committed suicide were struggling with a failed personal relationship (intimate or other), and 44 percent had looming legal or administrative problems such as disciplinary punishments, or had recently been denied promotion.
As for troops who have been traumatized by service, new therapies are in the offing. Preliminary results from a multiyear University of Utah study involving service members who have attempted suicide or talked of it indicate the Pentagon should move away from its emphasis on long-term hospitalization and outpatient treatments. According to David M. Rudd, the project director, very brief cognitive-therapy treatments — as little as 12 hours total — reduced suicide attempts “by almost 70 percent relative to treatment as usual.”