Armed Forces: Suicide:Written question - HL3467

Asked on: 23 November 2016
Ministry of Defence
Armed Forces: Suicide
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the rate of suicide among UK armed forces personnel who have seen active service in Afghanistan or Iraq.
Answered by: Earl Howe
Answered on: 30 November 2016

The Ministry of Defence takes the mental health and well-being of its personnel very seriously. Our policy aims to reduce suicide risk through education, tackling stigma, and providing rapid, easily accessible, and flexible access to mental health support and health care services.

For the period 1 August 2002 to 31 December 2015, the rate of coroner confirmed suicides and open verdict deaths amongst those who had previously deployed to either Iraq or Afghanistan and were still in Service at the time of their death was 0.9 per 1,000. This compared to a rate of 1.6 per 1,000 for those UK service personnel who have not been identified as having deployed to either Iraq or Afghanistan prior to their death.

The 'Suicide and Open Verdict Deaths in the UK Regular Armed Forces 1984-2015' National Statistics Notice published in March 2016 shows that over the past 30 years, male suicide rates among the UK regular Armed Forces have been lower than the UK general population. In 2014, the male suicide rate in the UK general population was 16.8 per 100,000 compared to a UK Armed Forces rate of 4 per 100,000.

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