(Getty Images/Spencer Grant)

(Reuters Health) - Military service members who are at risk for suicide may be less likely to attempt to harm themselves when they receive supportive text messages, a U.S. study suggests.

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Photo: Stephen Baker/U.S. Army

The number of active-duty soldiers who took their own lives reached a five-year high in 2018, an Army spokesman confirmed to Task & Purpose on Thursday.

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U.S. Marine Corps/Department of Veterans Affaiirs

ST. PETERSBURG — On Dec. 10, retired Marine Col. Jim Turner put on his dress uniform and medals and drove to the Bay Pines Department of Veterans Affairs complex. He got out of his truck, sat down on top of his military records and took his own life with a rifle.

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Getty Images/Spencer Grant

Last Saturday, a vice admiral died in Bahrain of an apparent suicide. Officials were quoted as saying “no foul play” was involved.

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Department of Veterans Affairs

A pair of programs currently underway at a Veterans Affairs medical center in Cleveland aim to determine if a low-dose infusion of ketamine — the anesthetic that gained popularity for its street name ‘Special K’ in the 1960s and 70s — can help patients with treatment-resistant depression, and whether the drug can work as an emergency measure to help those at a high risk of suicide.

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U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. David Overson

Editor’s note: The Long March will be closed for inventory the month of August. We regret any inconvenience this causes our loyal customers. In an effort to keep you reasonably content and focussed, we are offering re-runs of some of the best columns of the year. We value your custom and hope you will stick around for . . . the Long March.

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