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Suicide Numbers Up Among Military Reserves

09-08-2014
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Fewer active duty soldiers are taking their own lives, but the amount of reserve soldier suicides is still going up, passing the amount of active duty suicides last year.

The opposing numbers suggest limitations to prevention programs designed to help at risk service-persons.

Once soldiers are no longer in active service they don't have the same access to support networks, including military medical or mental health services.

"In many instances, if you find yourself in time of need and you're not in a permanent command, you may not know who to turn to," Rear Adm. Sean Buck said.

Buck is the Navy's officer in charge of suicide prevention and resilience programs.

"I think we've changed the cultural mindset - that it's okay for a sailor or a soldier or an airman or Marine to come forward and ask for help. We're trying to reduce the stigma that used to exist," Buck said.

Military leaders say that some programs appear to be working, but it's too soon to declare success in the battle against suicides.

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