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U.S. Army Suicides Increase 30 Percent During COVID-19 Pandemic Among Active-Duty Members

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US Army Suicides up

Suicides among active-duty members of the United States Army increased by 30 percent in the six months since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, matching an overall rise in violent behavior among almost all branches of the military.

U.S. military suicides spiked by about 20 percent this year compared to 2019, despite the first three months of the year having seen a drop in self-inflicted violent behavior and murders. The Army, the largest branch of the military, recorded 114 suicides since March, prompting several officers and generals to suggest the added stress, isolation and uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on its members. Mental health specialists said they saw a corresponding uptick in referrals among veterans since the pandemic started.

Veterans and military leaders urged troops to watch out for their fellow service members, particularly wounded warriors who may be even less inclined to reach out for medical or mental health help amid infection concerns. A 2018 report on U.S. military suicides found young enlisted men were the most at-risk for suicide and used a firearm in 60 percent of incidents.

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