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Army Suicides Surpass Last Year's Total

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By Aimee Burnett

Twin Falls, Idaho (KMVT-TV) The Army suicide rate is escalating.

By October of this year the number of suicides by active–duty soldiers surpassed last year's totals.

"In the Army in 2011 there were about 165 confirmed suicides and in the National Guard and reserves about 120," said Col. Tim Marsano, Public Affairs Officer.

The total number of suicides just ten months in, reached 166 after 20 possible suicides were recorded in October.

Military leaders increased efforts to provide programs and outreach earlier this year when they realized the pace was increasing.

"We in the military do think that suicide is a preventable issue and we're doing everything we can at the command level to ensure that our soldiers understand that there is help available," said Col. Marsano.

The Pentagon continues to work to identify factors that trigger suicides.

It has long been linked to the deployment rate.

"It's very, very challenging for soldiers and airmen to be away from their homes and be away from their families for up to a year," said Col. Marsano.

The ACE program is just one of the resources impressed upon all soldiers and airmen.

"Ask if somebody feels despondent and seems like they may have suicidal tendancies, to care for them and to take away things that they may have to hurt themselves with. And, then escort them to the various types of help that are available," said Col. Marsano.

As the deployment cycle continues to wind down the Army is hopeful that the suicide rate will as well.

Veterans in need of help can call the Veteran's Crisis Hotline at
1–800–273-TALK.

You can also contact the Boise VA Hospital.

Someone is available to talk with you at all times.


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