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The number of suicides across the Defense Department has dropped by more than 22 percent this year, reported the Associated Press. As of Oct. 27, there have been 245 suicides by Active Duty service members, compared to 316 this time last year, according to the article, which cites data provided by anonymous sources. In recent years, DOD has set up several initiatives through the individual services in an attempt to overcome the pressing issue, including targeting substance abuse and stress, expanding crisis phone lines, and increasing access to behavioral health services, states the Nov. 11 news report. However, officials are reluctant to credit the decline to any specific initiative, recognizing there are many unknown factors that officials may be unclear of. In total, there were 349 suicides in 2012—the highest it has been since DOD began closely monitoring cases in 2001, according to the report. (See also Suicide Prevention Requires Face-to-Face Engagement)