Three US Navy Sailors Assigned to Aircraft Carrier Commit Suicide in One Week

Three sailors on the US aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush committed suicide last week, according to a post on the ship’s official Facebook page, bringing the total number of active-duty sailors who took their lives in 2019 to 49.

“It is with a heavy heart that I can confirm the loss of three Sailors last week in separate, unrelated incidents from apparent suicide. My heart is broken,” commanding officer Captain Sean Bailey wrote in the post. 

“These deaths mark the third, fourth, and fifth crew member suicides in the last two years. Now is the time to come together as a crew and as a family to grieve, to support each other, and to care for those in need,” he continued.

In his post, Bailey also encouraged sailors struggling with mental health issues to seek help, noting that there is “never any stigma or repercussions from seeking help.”

“Chaplains, psychologists, counselors, and leadership are engaged and available on board at all times to provide support and counseling to those grieving,” Bailey noted, also encouraging sailors to keep an eye out on anyone who appears to be struggling with relationship problems, personal or professional loss, career transitions, financial problems or legal issues.

According to data from Navy Personnel Command, 68 active-duty sailors committed suicide last year, an increase from 2017’s total of 65. In fact, the number of suicides among active-duty sailors increased from 13.1 per 100,000 sailors in 2015 to 20.7 per 100,000 in 2018.

“Help is always available. If you find yourself in need, call the Suicide Hotline number at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or Military OneSource at 1-800-342-9647. You can also text ‘home’ to the Crisis Hotline at 741741. Asking for help and supporting those who reach out is a sign of strength and resilience and never viewed negatively,” Bailey concluded in his post.

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