On July 30, 2013 the Army released suicide data for the month of June and for the year-to-date, which reveal that the rate of suicide amongst our service men and women continues to be a significant problem. Year to date there have been 77 potential suicides reported among active-duty soldiers, and even more, 81 potential suicides, among reserve component soldiers. The total 158 reported potential suicides in just six months time means that almost every single day a member of our military commits suicide.
Surely this can’t go on.
News like this reinforces our commitment to help soldiers deal with difficult experiences and begin to heal through our filmmaking workshops. To date we have helped over 100 soldiers struggling with PTS, and we’re working harder than ever to reach more heroes who need the help.
In the meantime, it was encouraging to read that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is ramping up its own efforts to address this serious problem. They offer a MIlitary Crisis Line (www.militarycrisisline.net) which offers free and confidential support to servicemenbers in crisis, or anyone who knows a servicemember who is in crisis. The service is staffed by caring, qualified responders from the VA, many who have served in the military themselves. Support is offered through the crisis telephone line, online chat, and text messaging services for all service members and veterans, 24/7. Services are available even if members are not registered with the VA or enrolled in VA health care.
A military member shared the Army suicide report with us, closing with the words “Stay Focused. Drive On.”
And so we will.