The number of suicide cases among active service members in the US Army is rising at an alarming rate despite efforts made to curb the trend.
According to a new report, the US military recorded 161 potential suicides in 2013, meaning one suicide about every 18 hours among active duty troops, reservists and National Guard members. The report noted that US Defense Department, Pentagon, has implemented a number of initiatives in an attempt to decrease the number of suicides. However, analysts believe that the rate will even increase in the next couple of years as more troops are returning from Afghanistan. In 2012, one suicide was reported every 17 hours and the total number was higher than those killed in the battle. Experts say the prospect of servicing through a seemingly never-ending war can be too much for soldiers to handle. In an attempt to reverse the trend, military doctors are now investigating to see if traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) increase the risk of suicide among troops. In March, more than 50 Congress members formally asked US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to study whether TBIs sustained by American troops may be contributing to the military suicide epidemic.