BELL COUNTY, TX — There has been a rise in the number of deaths by suicide among our troops, according to a new report released by the Defense Suicide Prevention Office.
Experts report 139 active duty soldiers, 68 sailors, 60 airmen, and 58 marines died by suicide in 2018. This is 40 more service members than the previous year. The Defense Suicide Prevention Office collects and reports data on death by suicide in the Department of Defense.
“It’s such a large epidemic to have to handle so we like to be able to say, if we can support our soldiers through supporting our community, by educating our community by learning the signs, stigmas, risks factors, and what resources are out there to help others,” said Janet Sutton, of Hope Happens. She says the Central Texas community has been active in prevention and support initiatives.
The veteran population is also at risk. The suicide rate is 1.5 times greater than the civilian population with over 6,000 veterans dying by suicide each year.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is open to anyone at 1-800-273-8255.