JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas –
Across the nation, suicide has been prevalent in the general population over the past decade, due to a myriad of events increasing the need for behavioral health (or mental health) services throughout the community and world.
Despite these events, military suicide rates are showing an encouraging decrease. The Department of Defense 2021 annual suicide report shows a decrease from 584 to 518, 66 fewer than the previous year. Additionally, the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs 2021 report of 6,260 military veteran suicide deaths, decreased by 399 from the year prior.
“Even with these numbers moving in the right direction, we understand the epidemic need for behavioral health care is even more imperative today,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Matthew Garrido, behavioral health operations team leader for the San Antonio Market, and BAMC Department of Behavioral Health chief. “Though small, the downward shift remains a hopeful sign that service members and their families are increasingly receiving the care and support they need to navigate these life stressors.”
All across the military forces here at Joint Base San Antonio, command teams and leaders are working hard to reduce the stigma of behavioral health and to normalize the ability for service members and families to take care of their behavioral health needs early on.