The annual report of the United States (U.S.) Army Suicide Event Report (ASER) allows for detailed Army-wide statistical reports on suicide events, including attempts and completions. The report submitted as of March 1st 2007 provided statistics for Calendar Year (CY) 2006 indicating a suicide rate of 16.91 (per 100,000) for the overall Army-Active Component only – the highest they have been since 1991. Historically, the U.S. Army annual average is 12 suicides per 100,000 Soldiers.
Data from ASER note the most frequently reported stressors included failed or failing relationships (especially marriage) followed by legal problems, work-related problems, and excessive debt. In addition, almost two-thirds of suicide completions had a history of at least one deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan; however, multiple deployments were relatively rare among those with suicide behaviors. The data also noted almost a third of completed suicides occurred in a deployed environment.
For this reason, the Department of the Army (DA), the Office of the Surgeon General (OTSG), Behavioral Health Proponency Office, Walter Reed Army Institute for Research (WRAIR), U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine (CHPPM), U.S. Army Medical Department Center & School (AMEDDC&S), Battlemind Training Office (BTO), U.S. Army Medical Command (MEDCOM), the Suicide Prevention Office (SPO), the Chaplain Corps, and the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) have collaborated to conduct ongoing research and training and policy development and implementation regarding suicide prevention in the U.S. Army.
The development of the Battlemind Training System serves as a collaborative effort at building Soldier resiliency through all phases of the deployment cycle, life cycle, and support cycle of military service. Battlemind may be defined as a Soldier's inner strength to face adversity and fear in combat with confidence and resolution; the will to persevere and win. Battlemind skill developed through military training serves as the cornerstone for resiliency of the American Soldier on and off the battlefield, and addresses a strength-based approach for the greater military communities in which they serve.