According to a new report released this week by the Pentagon, there was a significant increase in the number of Active and Reserve Component suicides in the third quarter of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014. For the Active Component, the number of suicides in the third quarter of 2015 was 72, compared to 57 in the third quarter of 2014. For all branches of the Active Component, there were increases in the number of suicides from the third quarter of 2014 to the third quarter of 2015.
Within the Reserve Component, the number of suicides in the third quarter of 2015 was 70, compared to 48 in the third quarter of 2014. For the Reserve Component, the only branch that did not see an increase in suicides was the Air Force, which saw no change from 2014 to 2015. The annual Department of Defense Suicide Event Report (DoDSER), which includes suicide attempts and deaths, is available here.
In IAVA’s Member Survey, 47 percent of respondents know at least one Iraq or Afghanistan veteran who has attempted suicide, while 40 percent of respondents know someone who has died by suicide and a staggering 31 percent of respondents have thought about taking their own life.
For nearly a decade, IAVA and the veterans’ community have long called for immediate action by our nation’s leaders to end this crisis, including passing the Clay Hunt Suicide for American Veterans (SAV) Act in 2015. Unfortunately, much work remains to be done.
We need you to use your voice to urge Congress to focus on this issue today. Click here to take action and help us end veteran suicide.