"Suicides among U.S. soldiers rose last year to the highest level in decades, the Army announced Thursday. At least 128 soldiers killed themselves in 2008. But the final count is likely to be considerably higher because 15 more suspicious deaths are still being investigated and could also turn out to be self-inflicted, the Army said. A new training and prevention effort will start next week. And Col. Elspeth Ritchie, a psychiatric consultant to the Army surgeon general, made a plea for more U.S. mental health professionals to sign on to work for the military. "We are hiring and we need your help," she said. The new suicide figure compares with 115 in 2007 and 102 in 2006 and is the highest since record keeping began in 1980."
(Associated Press, 29 January) RD