U.S. Navy Sailors Committing Suicide at Alarming Rates this Year

Aircraft Carrier Suicides - Photo by Michael Afonso on Unsplash

Sailors say aircraft carrier that had multiple suicides occur on board was uninhabitable – CNN

Five sailors died by suicide on the George Washington ship last year.

The Navy plans to host a day of team-building exercises and has asked each department to submit ideas for how crew members could interact off the ship. However, some sailors doubt such events would fix a mental health crisis on the ship.

Three George Washington sailors died by suicide within a week in April. Several current and former sailors said their mental health struggles were directly related to the ship’s unlivable living conditions.

The Navy said improving living and working conditions is a top priority, but some sailors contend the damage has already been done. Some sailors said morale is pretty low, and things are getting better, but repairs will likely not be completed until March 2023.

While the military has workforce challenges uniquely different from corporate America, human resource experts say team-building activities can help colleagues build trust and relationships with one another. However, one-time events are unlikely to make a long-term impact.

The Navy sent a 13-person psychiatric rapid intervention team to counsel sailors on board the George Washington after a Master-at-Arms Seaman Recruit Xavier Hunter Sander committed suicide on board the ship, following the suicides of two other crew members.

Sandor worked on the warship for about three months when he died. Five days earlier, another sailor committed suicide off-base, and the day before, another sailor committed suicide.

  1. Sailors say aircraft carrier that had multiple suicides occur on board was uninhabitable  CNN
  2. The Navy wants to boost morale after several suicides. Some sailors say it’s not enough.  NBC News
  3. Officials hear concerns from sailors after multiple deaths on Navy aircraft carrier  KVLY
  4. Hear former sailors on Navy aircraft carrier describe working conditions  CNN
  5. 260 Sailors Shifted Off USS George Washington After Spate of Suicides  The Daily Beast
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