Suicide rates among U.S. Army personnel increased 80 percent between 2004 and 2008. Of the 255 soldiers who had committed suicide between 2007 to 2008, 17 percent had previously been diagnosed with a mental health issue. Fifty percent had seen a health professional for a mental health issue.
“While suicide remains a relatively rare event, the results of this study suggest it is increasing at an unprecedented rate and, unlike any other time in history, U.S. military suicide rates now appear to have surpassed those among comparable civilian populations. It is therefore critical that we address this emerging public health problem,” said Dr. Simon Rego, a supervising psychologist at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.
The researchers learned that rates of mental health issues like anxiety, personality disorders, substance abuse, and post traumatic stress disorder among soldiers have a direct correlation to the increase in suicides.