Marines Look to Curb Suicide

The Marine Corps is desperately looking for answers after realizing that it has the highest suicide rate of any branch of the U.S. military. In 2009, 52 Marines took their own lives, 10 more than the previous year, making it the highest toll since record-keeping began. There were also a record 154 attempts. But the Marines now believe the solution may come from within the corps’ own philosophy—every member has a duty to rescue his brothers in arms. Col. Grant Olbrich, section head of the Marine Corps Suicide Prevention Program, explained that the plan was to “leverage” a culture that teaches soldiers to “leave no Marine behind.” The Corps is also rolling out a new series of instructional videos with realistic scenarios to help Marines identify depression as well as a “de-stress” telephone line to provide confidential counseling. "It doesn't mean they are less of a Marine if they need some help to get through a rough patch in their lives," Olbrich said.