Military Suicide Rate Reaches All Time High in 2012

By: Liz Hayes Email
By: Liz Hayes Email

New figures released by the Pentagon show an alarming rate of suicides among active U.S. Military service members.

According to numbers obtained by the Associated Press, suicides last year increased to 349 from 301 in 2011.

As if that weren't bad enough, a peer support facilitator at the VA Clinic in Rhinelander says we lose a veteran to suicide every 84 minutes.

"Lack of support is the number one reason why the majority of the veterans I've worked with who've attempted suicide or commit suicide is, because nobody cares, nobody understands," said Tim Bahr.

Bahr says peer support groups like the one he leads are helpful to combat the problem, because those involved have an understanding of what the vets are dealing with.

He also says the Pentagon isn't doing enough to provide support for vets or active service members.

"It's getting support and getting knowledge back here in the United States," he said. "I will say that they have done better, but they have not necessarily done everything they can."

Bahr also hopes society will extinguish the stigma surrounding post traumatic stress disorder. He says having it is normal, it's how it's dealt with that should be stressed.

Bahr welcomes any service member or veteran who wants to talk to contact him at the Rhinelander VA Clinic by calling 715-362-4080.

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