Fifteen military suicides reported in 2018 despite new prevention strategy

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OTTAWA — The Canadian Forces saw more than a dozen service members die by suicide last year even as it was implementing a number of new services and benefits to prevent such tragedies.

New figures from the Department of National Defence show 15 members of the Canadian military killed themselves in 2018 — one fewer than the previous year.

The latest deaths coincided with efforts by the military and Veterans Affairs Canada to apply a new suicide-prevention strategy unveiled in late 2017.

The strategy includes promises to improve the services and support available to those who have served in uniform following concerns about the number of military members and veterans who had killed themselves in recent years.

In response to the new figures, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said the military and government are committed to improving the strategy to ensure the best possible care and support to those in the military.

A landmark study from Veterans Affairs Canada suggested that those who have served in the military are at greater risk of suicide than members of the general public, especially women and younger veterans.

The Canadian Press

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