July 17, 2003

Army leads suicides for young men

SUICIDE rates and open- verdict deaths among young men in the Army are higher than the national average. The discovery, by the Ministry of Defence, has prompted an investigation.

After the deaths of four service people, all aged 17 to 21, at Deepcut training barracks in Surrey over six years, the MoD has monitored suspected suicide incidents. At Deepcut all four died from gunshot wounds. One was recorded as a suicide, two were open verdicts and the fourth has yet to be dealt with by a coroner. Surrey Police are still investigating three deaths.

The Defence Analytical Services Agency’s figures for 1992 to 2001 showed yesterday that suicides or open verdicts were “statistically significantly lower than the national population”. The exception was 16 to 19-year-old men in the Army.