Nearly 10,000 US soldiers attempted to commit suicide between 2004 and 2009 according to a study by JAMA Psychiatry, a medical journal published by the American Medical Association.
- of soldiers who wanted to commit suicide were male
The high suicide rate amongst US soldiers was revealed in a study which looked at the risk of such attempts among soldiers in army units with a history of suicide attempts. It stated that “suicide attempt rate among US Army soldiers increased substantially during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.”
Doctors examining the influence of previous suicide attempts on soldiers serving in the same unit discovered that soldiers were more likely to attempt suicide if assigned to a unit that witnessed similar cases of suicide, resulting in death or injury. The rate of suicide attempts rose 2.3 times in the 600-strong military unit, where a suicide attempt occurred a year ago.
The study revealed that 86 per cent of the soldiers who wanted to commit suicide were male, 68 per cent of those were under the age of 30, and 60 per cent were of white American background.