“15 percent increase is not acceptable:” Military suicides rise, organizations trying to change that

DELMARVA- Fifteen percent. That’s the rise in military suicides in 2020.
“15 percent increase is not acceptable, any young person or any of our military folks no matter what war they served in who contemplates or does take their life, its a life lost that shouldn’t have happened,” Dover Mayor, Robin Christiansen, said.

This number reflects the increase in suicides in the Army and Marine Corps. While it’s a national number, it’s been seen locally. Hunt Heroes Foundation, an organization that supports military families in the US, including Delaware, said they see it too.

“We are seeing that suicidal rates with our active military are going up and honestly we do not know yet why,” Lynette Hegeman, National Marketing Director with Hunt Military Communities, said.

The Mayor of Dover, who has worked with the Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs, said the problem isn’t unfamiliar to him either.

“One of the things that we have noticed is that because a lot of these young folks have been deployed in a single person or small deployment they don’t have the comradery that a lot of other military folks over years past,” Mayor Robin Christiansen said.

We’re told other factors can come into play as well.

“Such as COVID, there are stricter rules in terms of having to quarantine or to stay away from people which is causing some depression 11 we can also look to Afghanistan and the recent exit of that,” Hegeman said.

And, while this increase is happening resources are out there, but the key is getting them into the hands of the people who need them most.

“But I’m not sure they know how to go about getting them and also I think there’s this stigma that I have depression or PTSD that in some way that is a weakness,” Hegeman said.

“They need to put in extra effort forward to make sure that these young men and women who have taken up arms for our country, voluntarily are counseled in the way that they need to be,” Mayor Robin Christiansen, said.

Categories: Delaware, Local News, Maryland