Tags: Coronavirus | Coronavirus Special | Health Topics | Anxiety | Cold/Flu | Depression | suicide

Army Chief of Staff: COVID-19, Spike in Suicides Among Troops Could Be Related

James McConville sits before a congressional hearing with a stone face
U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 13 October 2020 04:42 PM

U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville says he is concerned about the mental health of his troops as military suicides have increased by as much as 20% this year amid the coronavirus pandemic, reports The Hill.

The U.S. Army, which has seen a 30% spike (114 suicides compared to 88 last year), is concerned about the toll virus-related isolations are taking on the soldiers.

"I am very concerned about the behavioral health impacts of COVID and its effect on our soldiers," McConville told reporters at the Pentagon.

"Some of the scientists have said they've not been able to show causation between COVID and suicide, but I would argue, at least my sense is, it is having an effect because it disconnects people."

James Helis, director of the Army's resilience programs, last month said virus-related isolation, financial disruptions, remote schooling, and loss of childcare all happening almost overnight has strained troops and families.

"We know that the measures we took to mitigate and prevent the spread of COVID could amplify some of the factors that could lead to suicide," said Helis, who attended department briefings on suicide data.

Nearly 49,000 military members have been infected with COVID-19, according to the Department of Defense. Eight have died.

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U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville says he is concerned about the mental health of his troops as military suicides have increased by as much as 20% this year amid the coronavirus pandemic, reports The Hill.
suicide, james mcconville, troops, covid-19, pandemic
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2020-42-13
Tuesday, 13 October 2020 04:42 PM
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