US soldiers are committing suicide at an alarming rate in 2012, according to new Pentagon statistics reported by the Associated Press. The rate was roughly one per day, with 154 suicides in 155 days. The rate is the highest since the latest round of wars began in 2001.
After hitting a record of 160 for all of 2009, the suicide rate was reportedly “leveling out” in 2010 and 2011. Official studies have struggled to explain the latest rise, attributing it to non-military causes like drug abuse and financial problems.
The military made very public its efforts to get the problem under control, particularly after reports showed that half of the soldiers had sought professional help beforehand, emphasizing programs aimed at eliminating reluctance to seek help. It seems however that those programs have had very little effect.
The soaring rate of deaths actually put the number of US soldiers killed in suicides so far this year slightly ahead of the number killed in the occupation of Afghanistan.