Defense Department Releases Annual Military Suicide Report

The defense secretary says, “We must integrate prevention into all our efforts.“

The Department of Defense (DoD) recently released the annual report tracking the suicide rate of current and former military members, compiling and interpreting data collected during the year 2022. 

Suicide rates are often tracked by average recorded instances per 100,000 people, with the national suicide rate at 14.1 per 100,000 for the year 2021. This represents a total of 48,183 deaths by suicide in the U.S. that year. 

In 2022, the suicide rate among active military members was 25.1 per 100,000. Four hundred ninety-two service members took their own lives that year, a slight decrease from the 524 reported in 2021. However, this decrease does not change the trend in military member suicides over the past decade, with the Defense Department recording a 3 percent rise between 2011 and 2022. 

“We must foster trust and connection in the workplaces and communities under our care. We must integrate prevention into all our efforts. And we must reach out to those who are struggling and make it easier to seek help,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin stated. “Taking care of our people is a sacred obligation, and we will continue to undertake it with the resolve and moral clarity that our teammates deserve.“

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For the mental health and emotional stability of all U.S. military personnel.
  • For wisdom for Defense Secretary Austin as he addresses the continuing increase in military suicides.
  • For the president and Pentagon advisors as they seek to provide resources and support for mental health for U.S. troops and veterans.

Sources: Department of Defense, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


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