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Military Suicides Spike Roughly 20% During Pandemic, Report Says
Military suicide
Mykhailo Polenok/EyeEm via Getty Images

Suicides among members of the armed forces have risen nearly 20% during the coronavirus pandemic, compared to numbers from 2019, according to a report.

“While the data is incomplete and causes of suicide are complex, Army and Air Force officials say they believe the pandemic is adding stress to an already strained force,” The Associated Press (AP) reported.

“The Pentagon refused to provide 2020 data or discuss the issue, but Army officials said discussions in Defense Department briefings indicate there has been up to a 20% jump in overall military suicides this year,” the AP continued. “The numbers vary by service. The active Army’s 30% spike — from 88 last year to 114 this year — pushes the total up because it’s the largest service. The Army Guard is up about 10%, going from 78 last year to 86 this year. The Navy total is believed to be lower this year.”

Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told the AP, “I can’t say scientifically, but what I can say is — I can read a chart and a graph, and the numbers have gone up in behavioral health related issues.”

“We cannot say definitively it is because of COVID. But there is a direct correlation from when COVID started, the numbers actually went up,” he added.

Gen. Charles Brown, who is an Air Force chief, said, “COVID adds stress. From a suicide perspective, we are on a path to be as bad as last year. And that’s not just an Air Force problem, this is a national problem because COVID adds some additional stressors – a fear of the unknown for certain folks.”

Explaining how two decades of war have been taxing to American soldiers, the AP noted that “[t]hose deployments, compounded by the virus, hurricane and wildfire response and civil unrest missions, have taken a toll.”

“The 2018 rate for active duty military was 24.8 per 100,000, while the overall civilian rate for that year was 14.2, but the rate for younger civilian men ranged from 22.7 to 27.7 per 100,000, according to the National Institute of Mental Health,” the AP reported.

The complications of COVID-19 have reportedly taken a toll not just on the military. One in four young people between the ages of 18 and 24 has “seriously considered” suicide during the pandemic, according to data released in August from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

As The Daily Wire reported:

More than 25% of young Americans aged 18-24 have seriously considered killing themselves during the last month, according to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released on Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been associated with mental health challenges related to the morbidity and mortality caused by the disease and to mitigation activities, including the impact of physical distancing and stay-at-home orders,” the report began. “Symptoms of anxiety disorder and depressive disorder increased considerably in the United States during April–June of 2020, compared with the same period in 2019.”

Related: More Than A Quarter Aged 18-24 Have ‘Seriously Considered Suicide’ In Past 30 Days, Says CDC

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Military Suicides Spike Roughly 20% During Pandemic, Report Says