(RoyalPatriot.com )- According to a Navy official familiar with the matter, the US Navy is looking into four apparent suicides that occurred at a shore-based facility in a single month to see whether the deaths are connected in any way and to see if sailors received adequate mental health and medical care.
At the Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center in Norfolk, Virginia, enlisted sailors died by suicide from October 30 to November 26.
Navy Capt. Jay Young, the commanding officer of MARMC, said it is with a heavy heart that they can announce that four Sailors assigned to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center (MARMC) in Norfolk, Virginia, have passed away in the past month. “Local police departments and the U.S. government are actively looking into the circumstances underlying these distinct events. Navy.”
The deaths are each being looked into separately following conventional Navy practices.
Young added that one suicide is too many, and MARMC leadership is taking proactive steps to support the group, enhance mental health, and help its Sailors manage their stress.
Around 3,000 people work at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center, and 1,500 are on active duty. Personnel assigned to the center on limited duty typically make up about a quarter of those actively serving because they cannot serve aboard ships due to medical or mental health issues. The Navy declined to comment on the four dead sailors’ status on duty, citing privacy concerns.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has raised awareness of military suicide prevention efforts and encouraged the Defense Department to take additional steps to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness. He has frequently remarked that “mental health is health, period.”
According to the Pentagon’s annual report on suicide in the military, 519 service personnel died by suicide in the past year. The number was lower than in 2020 when there were 582 occurrences of military suicide. The total suicide rate has gradually climbed over the past ten years despite the year-over-year drop.
Similar incidents at the adjoining shipyard in Newport News are evocative of the deaths at the Norfolk site. Three sailors on board the USS George Washington committed suicide within a week this past spring.
The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier’s crew had lost seven members in the preceding year, at least four of whom committed suicide. If there was a connection between the suicides and if there were any similar causes, the Navy is still looking into it.