A Department of Defense Report Shows That Service Member Suicide Rates Spiked in 2018 After Rising Steadily for the Last Five Years
Following a U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) report released yesterday that showed a spike in military suicides, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee, today called for a Senate hearing on suicides among service members and their families.
According to the DoD report, 541 service members died by suicide in 2018, and the active duty suicide rate was approximately 24.8 per 100,000 service members. This represents a sharp increase from 21.9 in 2017 and 18.7 in 2013. The increase is especially prevalent among younger enlisted service members.
“This report is extremely troubling, and we all should have many questions about why more and more of our service members are taking their lives,” said Senator Gillibrand, Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee. “These numbers are going in the wrong direction, and it is the responsibility of the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee to help find answers and real solutions to address mental health and suicide. I look forward to working with Senator Tillis to do just that.”
The full text of Gillibrand’s letter to Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee may be found here.