New data suggests that suicides of military members have jumped by about 20 percent in 2020 as compared to the same time period in 2019. The rise comes as the U.S. struggles to balance the COVID-19 pandemic, civil rights movements and unrest, as well as raging wildfires simultaneously.
CBS News reports that in addition to higher rates of suicide, other incidents of violent behavior have also spiked, with war-zone deployments compounding high levels of stress brought on by broad national unrest. Army and Air Force officials have reportedly said that they believe the pandemic is adding more stress to an already taxed military force.
While institutions did not provide comprehensive 2020 data on mental health struggles and suicide within the military, Army officials have reportedly said that discussions within the Department of Defense indicate there has been up to a 20 percent spike in military suicides this past year.