“In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.” –Jose Narosky
We have been at war for 10 years, and in this decade the suicide rate among members of our military has dramatically increased. In 2009, the Army lost more soldiers to suicide and accidental death than to combat fatalities. For every death, at least five members of the armed forces were hospitalized for attempting to take their own lives. According to the Navy Times, 2 percent of Army, 2.3 percent of Marines and 3 percent of Navy respondents to the military’s survey (28,536 members from all branches) reported they had attempted suicide at one point. People who have served in either Afghanistan or Iraq make up a growing percentage of the 6,400 veterans that VA estimates take their own lives each year. However, numbers cannot express the tragic loss felt by the military community each time it loses one of its own.
Many service members now have access to a Smartphone 24/7. This technology provides a new avenue to reach out, giving service members much-needed care in a private, personalized setting. They can improve their psychological health and access help in the comfort of their own homes.
Military Community Awareness- Digital has developed a free military suicide prevention app called Operation Reach Out. This app is part of an effort to provide timely and effective support and guidance for military families. It is designed to:
- Encourage people to reach out for help when they are having suicidal thoughts.
- Help those who are concerned about family members, spouses, or fellow service members who may be suicidal.
- Provide a personal contact help center.
- Provide activities to help people who are depressed stay connected to others.
Operation Reach Out is now available, free of charge, here: