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The Department of the Army announced today the results of the Army’s Mental Health Advisory Team (MHAT). At the request of the commanding general, Combined Joint Task Force-7, U.S. Central Command, the Army surgeon general established and dispatched the Mental Health Advisory Team to assess and provide recommendations on Operation Iraqi Freedom-related mental health services, soldier access to those services in theater and after evacuation, and effective suicide prevention measures for Soldiers in active combat.
Twenty-three OIF suicides occurred in Iraq and Kuwait in 2003, yielding a suicide rate of 17.3 per 100,000. To date, only one suicide has occurred in 2004. During the same time period in 2003, the Army experienced 75 suicides worldwide, including those in Iraq and Kuwait. The total Army rate for calendar year 2003 was 12.8. The overall rate for the Army is consistent with previous years; the rate in Iraq is higher than historic rates for the entire Army but is still lower than the rate for young males in the general U.S. population. The largest demographic group in the Army is young males, and young males are the demographic group most at risk for suicide,
To date, seven Soldiers have committed suicide after returning from Iraq.