Fifteen suicides among fulltime soldiers in 2016 militarys surgeon general

first_imgOTTAWA – A new report from the Canadian military’s surgeon general says 15 full-time soldiers took their own lives last year, many of whom had been diagnosed with mental health disorders.Brig.-Gen. Andrew Downes’s annual report on military suicides comes only a few weeks after the federal government released a strategy to prevent suicide among service members and veterans.The issue has become a priority in the Canadian Forces and Veterans Affairs Canada as more and more current and former members have come forward with psychological injuries.Unlike previous reports, Downes does not say how many reservists killed themselves in 2016, while Veterans Affairs is expected to reveal next month how many vets have taken their own lives.But the number and break down of regular force members who killed themselves in 2016 was exactly the same as in 2015, with 14 men and one woman.A total of 150 full-time military personnel have taken their own lives since 2006, which marked the start of major combat operations in Afghanistan, compared to 118 between 1995 and 2005.Nearly two-thirds of the men in 2016 had been diagnosed with two or more mental health disorders, specifically depression, anxiety or PTSD.The report says the majority were also dealing with at least one significant stressor, including a failing relationship, work or legal problems, the recent death of a relative or friend, or a physical health problem.The report also continues to show that members of the Canadian Army are more likely to kill themselves than not only the general population, but also fellow service members in the navy and air force.Yet for the first time since the war in Afghanistan, those who have deployed on missions were found to be less likely to take their own lives.“This most recent finding fell just short of statistical significance,” the report says, “but does suggest that the pattern seen during and following the Afghanistan conflict may be shifting.”last_img read more