Report shows National Guard has highest suicide rate among military components

Michigan National Guard implemented new suicide prevention training

DETROIT – Data from the Department of Defense shows the National Guard had a higher suicide rate last year than active duty and reserve military components.

According to a report, 541 service members died by suicide in 2018.

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The suicide rate among National Guard service members was 30.6 per 100,000, compared to 24.8 per active duty service members and 22.9 per 100,000 for reserve component service members.

According to Elizabeth P. Van Winkle, the executive director of force resiliency with the DOD, the National Guard and reserve rate is consistent with numbers from the past two years, but the active duty rate is up from numbers in the past five years.

"This year's report indicates that suicide rates for active-component and reserve members are comparable to U.S. population rates after accounting for age and sex. But rates for the National Guard are higher than the U.S. population after similar adjustments," she said.

The Michigan National Guard implemented new suicide-prevention training after three soldiers died by suicide in less than a month earlier this year.