Sep 30, 2021 - Health

Suicides among active duty service members increased by 41% between 2015 and 2020

U.S. soldiers of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment of the US Army line up as they arrived at Czech army barracks on May 27, 2016 in Prague, Czech Republic.
Photo: Matej Divizna/Getty Images

Suicide rates among the U.S. military increased by 41.4% from 2015 to 2020, according to a Department of Defense report out Thursday.

By the numbers: Some 580 members of the military died by suicide in 2020, and the suicide rate among active duty service members increased 9.1% that year. From 2018 to 2020, it rose 15.3%.

  • The suicide rate among reserve members of the U.S. military went up by 19.2% in 2020. It rose by 31.7% among National Guard members, an overall decrease since 2018.
  • Some 200 military family members died by suicide in 2019.

What they're saying: The Department is engaged in implementing a comprehensive public health approach to suicide prevention and is providing tailored resources to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic," said Dr. Karin Orvis, director of the Defense Suicide Prevention Office, in a statement.

If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (En Español: 1-888-628-9454; Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

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