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Fixing the Navy’s Suicide Crisis, Without More Mental Health Personnel


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Headlines over the past several months have highlighted the U.S. Navy’s challenge of suicide within its ranks.

An alarming sign of the problem was when three junior sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier George Washington completed suicide within a six-day period in April 2022. Then, late last year, four sailors took their lives at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center in Norfolk, Virginia. Most recently it came to light that five sailors and instructors assigned to the Navy’s Nuclear Power School in Charleston, South Carolina died by suicide since 2018 with another 24 suicide attempts within the same timeframe. Reading between the lines, it’s clear that the Navy is struggling with traditional “deck plate” leadership issue.

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