Active Duty Suicides Down, Reserve Component Up in 2013

The recently released 2013 DOD Suicide Event Report showed an overall decline in the number of suicides over the previous year. Of the 259 Active Duty suicides in 2013, 48 were from airmen. This number is down from the 2012 report, which saw 522 total suicide deaths across all services (319 Active Duty and 203 in the reserve component) A total of 50 airmen took their own life in 2012. However, reserve component deaths saw a slight uptick for airmen—220 confirmed reserve component suicides across all services, up from 203 last year. “One suicide among our ranks is too many,” said Jackie Garrick, director of the Defense Suicide Prevention Office, in a Pentagon release. “Suicide is complex, and the better we understand these events in our community, the better we will be able to assist service members in crisis. We consider any measure that saves a life as one worth taking. ” Firearms—the majority of which were non-military-issued—and hanging were the primary methods for suicides, though drug and alcohol overdose was most common in unsuccessful attempts. (DODSER report; Caution, large-sized file.)