In the three weeks since Maj. Gen. Patrick Donahoe took command of Fort Benning, Georgia, the base has seen one soldier die by suicide and three more make “desperate attempts,” he tweeted Monday.
It’s an issue present throughout the military, the result of a variety of factors including a high-stress environment, PTSD, and traumatic brain injuries. And it’s an issue leaders are wholeheartedly trying to solve.
“We’ve got to convince everyone wearing the uniform that if you’re faced with those kinds of thoughts and decisions that there is no shame, no stigma to reach out,” Donahoe told Military Times.
The Defense Department’s most recent statistics stated a suicide rate of 29.5 per 100,000 for active duty Army personnel in 2018. That’s 4.7 deaths per 100,000 higher than the suicide rate for the military as a whole.