Fact Sheet

  • USA Today, July 2010 reports: The Army’s current suicide rate is about 22 deaths per 100,000, which is above a civilian rate that has been adjusted to match the demographics of the Army. That rate is 18-per-100,000. Only the Marine Corps has a higher suicide rate, at 24-per-100,000. Although Marine Corps suicides had been tracking similarly to last year’s record pace, the service reported only one suicide in June.
  • Soldiers killed themselves at the rate of one per day in June 2010, making it the worst month on record for Army suicides. There were 32 confirmed or suspected suicides among soldiers in June, including 21 among active-duty troops and 11 among National Guard or Reserve forces, according to Army statistics.
  • In 2009, Mental health disorders caused more hospitalizations among U.S. troops which outpaced those for injuries or pregnancies in the 15 years of tracking by the Pentagon’s Medical Surveillance Monthly report.
  • In 2009, there were 17,538 hospitalizations for mental health issues throughout the military that compares with 17,354 for pregnancy and childbirth reasons, and 11,156 for injuries and battle wounds.
  • The Army, which has 138,000 soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, had 10,222 mental health hospitalizations last year. They accounted for almost 19% of all Army hospitalizations.
  • These hospitalizations cost the Pentagon 488 years of lost duty in 2009. That’s “the equivalent of 488 soldiers spending an entire year in the hospital for mental disorders,” said Army Col. Robert DeFraites
  • According to Department of Defense studies, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is present in ten to twenty percent of Iraq war soldiers and the more firefights an Iraq soldier was involved in, the more likely he or she was to have PTSD. In addition, the Department of Defense found that those coming home from Iraq — where there is more combat than in Afghanistan — were twice as likely to seek help than those returning from Afghanistan.