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Suicide deaths among US troops up 15% in 2020 from 2019

09:53 01 October 2021 Author :  

Suicides among US troops increased 15% in 2020 from 2019, according to a Pentagon report on Thursday.

The USA TODAY newspaper was the first to report suicide figures with congressional and Defense Department sources, which showed 580 troops took their lives compared with 504 in 2019.

They included 384 active component, 77 Reserve and 119 National Guard troops, said the 2020 Annual Suicide Report.

Most troops who committed suicide were young enlisted men, a congressional aide told the American newspaper.

In 2018, 543 troops died by suicide.

A spike has been reported in suicides among soldiers in Alaska, with six suspected suicides in nearly half of this year.

According to USA TODAY, the Army spent more than $200 million in recent years to prevent suicides on bases in Alaska.

Dr. Karin Orvis, Director of the Defense Suicide Prevention Office, said in the report that suicide remains a serious public health issue in the US and the military.

"Our efforts must address the many aspects of life that impact suicide," said Orvis.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin dubbed the findings "troubling."

"Suicide rates among our service members and military families are still too high, and the trends are not going in the right direction," Austin said in a statement./agencies

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