Jul 28, 2014

Marine Suicides At Near Record

The Marines suicide prevention program reported 21 deaths and 107 attempted suicides for the year through July.

Marine Suicides At Near Record Marine Suicides At Near Record

Some 21 Marines committed suicide and 107 attempted suicide this year through July, according to a report released by the Marine and Family Programs Suicide Prevention Program.

The information has prompted a second look at the Corps' Never Leave a Marine Behind suicide prevention training for non-commissioned Marines and officers.

While the number of deaths represent little change in the average monthly rate of suicides from last year, the rate of attempted suicides edged up slightly.

According to an article in the North County Times Sunday, typical calls to a hotline at 1-877-476-7734 or online Skype visits to the website at www.dstressline.com  ran 10 to 15 minutes.

The Times article stated that callers talked most often about stress with relationships, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, substance abuse and depression.

Marine suicides have been a source of increasing alarm; prevention efforts to avoid the self-inflicted deaths have been stepped up since the Iraq and Afghanistan wars began taking their tolls.

According to the report, suicides in the Marine Corps peaked in 2009, when 52 Marines took their lives. The rate of suicides also shot up that year to 23.7 per 100,000 Marine population. It dropped to 17.2 per 100,000 last year.

In comparison, the civilian suicide rate has held steady between 2002 and 2007 at 19 to 20 deaths per 100,000, based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention numbers.

Last month alone, there were four suspected suicides and 13 attempts.

On July 6, Camp Pendleton Sgt. Ian Williams McConnell, 24, from Woodbury, MN, took his life, the Associated Press reported. He had served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

An investigation was also launched last month into the suspected suicide at Camp Pendleton of Pfc. Derek Ryan Capulong from Grosse Pointe Woods, MI, the Los Angeles Times reported. His family had warned the base that Capulong was distraught, according to the LAT.

Demographics for the year though July show most of the Marines who died were white, single, between 21 and 25 years old, at paygrade E1 to E3, and had used guns to end their lives.

In response to the suicides, the Marine Corps has instituted several training and support service programs aimed at preventing the deaths and exploring the causes.

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