WASHINGTON (CN) – Army suicides hit 147 reported cases in 2009, surpassing the number for all of last year, said a government report released Thursday. Nonetheless, suicide rates of active-duty soldiers continued their decline in November, from an early-year high.
The numbers bring the total reported active-duty suicides to 147 soldiers as of last month, surpassing the 140 for the entire year of 2008, although many of the suicides for 2009 have yet to be confirmed.
The rate of suicide dropped slightly last month with 12 reported cases, down from 16 reported cases in October.
Army Vice Chief of Staff Peter Chiarelli said last month that forty of the suicides happened in January and February, but noted that since the Army established education programs in February, the numbers have dropped.
In November, there were also two cases that have not yet been confirmed of soldiers committing suicide while not on active duty, contributing to the 71 total for non-active duty soldiers this year.
The army has been investigating the cause of suicide, and though many claim that it is related to deployments frequency, army research has shown no link.