Record Number of 2012 Military Suicides Outpaced Afghanistan Casualties


2012 was the worst year on record for suicide among active duty members of the US military.

New figures, unveiled on Monday, revealed that with 349 suicides in 2012, the 15 percent rise outpaced the total number of combat deaths in Afghanistan for the same year.The figures exceeded the military's own internal projection of 325 deaths by suicide in 2012, and was the highest recorded since 2001, when suicides first began to be closely tracked.

Figures found that the Army, the largest division of the US military, reported the most suicides, followed by the Marine Corps, which saw the largest percentage increase.

The Military Suicide Consortium found in a recent study that the vast majority of those who attempted suicide cited "a desire to end intense emotional distress" as one of their primary reasons. The study also found that troops who were either divorced or single were 24 percent more likely to commit suicide than their attached counterparts.

Suicide rates in the US Army have risen by 80 percent since the beginning of the Iraq War, found the Army Public Health Command, another depressing indicator that suicide is a massive problem among American servicemen and women.