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Wed Jul 25, 2012, 07:02 PM

Military Faces Suicide ‘Epidemic,’ Panetta Tells U.S. Lawmakers

The U.S. military is experiencing a suicide “epidemic,” with as many as 206 service members having taken their own lives this year, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told lawmakers today.

There were 104 confirmed military suicides this year, along with 102 investigations into potential suicides, Panetta testified before a joint hearing of the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee and the Committee on Veterans Affairs.
“That is an epidemic,” he said. “Something is wrong.”

Panetta said improvements are needed in mental health services for active duty and returning troops. One barrier is that the military doesn’t have enough caregivers to address the shortfalls in this area, he said.


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