New Delhi, Jan. 7, 2019: The number of defence personnel committing suicide was highest in the Indian Army among the three services in the last three years, data shows.
In 2018, a total of 80 army personnel committed suicide. The total number of suicides in the Air Force was 16 while in the Navy was 8, Minister of State (MoS) for Defence Subhash Bhamre told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply January 7.
In 2017, the number of army men, who are suspected to have committed suicide, was 75 while in 2016, this number was 104.
In the Air Force, the number of suspected suicides was 21 in 2017 and 19 in 2016. For the Navy, these numbers were 5 and 6 for 2017 and 2016, respectively.
The minister said various steps have been taken by the armed forces to create a healthy environment for their officers and other ranks.
“Some of the steps include provision of better facilities such as clothing, food, married accommodation, travel facilities, schooling, recreation etc and periodic welfare meetings, promoting yoga and meditation as a tool for stress management, and training and deployment of psychological counsellors,” the reply read.
It said mental health awareness is provided during pre-induction training.
Institutionalisation of projects “MILAP” and “SAHYOG” by the army in Northern and Eastern Commands to reduce stress among troops has been done.
A helpline has also been established by the army and the Air Force to provide professional counselling.