Suicide rates among Marines, Navy reached 10-year high in 2018

Suicide rates among Marines, Navy reached 10-year high in 2018
The Marine Corps may have seen 75 suicides in 2018, with 57 confirmed among active-duty troops and another 18 suspected or confirmed among those in the reserve forces. Another 68 active duty Navy personnel died by suicide the same year. (Source: CNN)

(CNN) - Military officials are deeply concerned after data showed the number of confirmed and suspected suicides in the active-duty Marine Corps and Navy had reached a 10-year high in 2018.

The Marine Corps may have seen 75 suicides last year, with 57 confirmed among active-duty troops and another 18 suspected or confirmed among those in the reserve forces.

Another 68 active duty Navy personnel died by suicide the same year.

Many of the cases are young Marines who have not been deployed overseas nor been in combat, a situation that has also been seen in other military branches.

Officials say they are deeply concerned that these deaths have happened, especially given available mental health programs.

“Don’t make them just numbers,” one Marine Corps official pleaded when making the data available to CNN.

The commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Robert Neller, released a message Friday that included a plea to struggling troops to reconsider any drastic actions.

"I am personally compelled to say something about suicide and mental health," Neller said in the message. "If you need help, please ask/speak up ... we will be there for you. Consider the lasting impact on your family, friends, and unit – none of whom will ever truly recover. Don't choose a permanent solution to a temporary problem that can be resolved with the help of your teammates."

The 10-year high is only confirmed in the active-duty forces because the Marine Corps only began tracking suicides in the reserves in 2012.

The numbers have fluctuated in recent years, often with unexplained spikes.

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