Third of military suicides told others of plans to die in advance

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

DENVER (AP) — The Defense Department says a third of military personnel who committed suicide last year told at least one person they planned to take their own lives.

A report released late Wednesday also says nearly half went to see a service provider in the 90 days before they died -- medical personnel, behavioral health specialists, chaplains or others.

Civilian suicide expert Richard McKeon says the figures don't necessarily reflect a failure in the Defense Department suicide prevention program.

He says they do indicate that behavioral health care providers and others need to monitor their programs and look for improvements.

The report analyzes 295 military suicides last year, down from 309 the year before. Lower-ranking Caucasian service members under age 25 were at the highest risk, the same as the year before.

(Copyright 2011, The Associated Press)

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