156606
157706

Canada  

Armed Forces reports most military suicides since 2014

20 military suicides last year

The Canadian Armed Forces has quietly revealed that 20 service members took their own lives last year, the largest number of military suicides since 2014.

The increase came despite the federal government having introduced a suicide-prevention strategy for military members and veterans in 2017, underscoring the complexity of the challenge facing the military and government in preventing such tragedies.

The new figures quietly published online by the Canadian Armed Forces in January showed 17 full-time regular-force members and three reservists died by suicide in 2019.

Not only did that represent an increase of five military suicides over the previous year, it was the largest number of suicides among those in uniform since 23 service members took their own lives in 2014. The figures did not break the numbers down by gender.

Military officials did not issue an accompanying report to explain the increase or what additional steps may be needed to address the situation, but Defence Department spokesman Daniel Le Bouthillier said in an email Wednesday that an analysis will come later in the year.

Such reports have been published each year since a rash of military suicides first cast a spotlight on the issue in 2013, leading the government and military commanders to promise to address the problem.

The subsequent Defence Department and Veterans Affairs Canada suicide-prevention strategy promised to improve the services and support available to military members and veterans in the hope of increasing awareness and reducing the number of suicides in both populations.

That included adding more medical staff, training personnel on how to respond if someone showed warning signs for suicide and introducing new measures to ease the transition to civilian life for those leaving the Forces.

National Defence's suicide-prevention strategy was endorsed by a variety of groups, including the Canadian Psychological Association, the Canadian Mental Health Association and the Mood Disorders Society of Canada.

"The CAF has provided leadership in the area of mental health and remains committed to working with its partners to ensure that our personnel, with their families, who are called to sacrifice so much in service to their country, receive quality care and support," Le Bouthillier said.

"Suicide is a tragedy and an important public health concern that affects everyone — both in and out of uniform — which is why we will continue to assess capabilities and adjust resources to ensure we meet the increasing complexities and demands associated with caring for our own."



More Canada News

Canada
Parliament Hill
Parliament Hill Webcam
156675
Recent Trending
158287
Support Local Media
Castanet Proud Member of RTNDA Canada
158225





157070
150928