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NJ To Run Counseling Program At Fort Hood

(credit: Ben Sklar/Getty Images)

(credit: Ben Sklar/Getty Images)

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TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – A successful veteran-to-veteran counseling program in New Jersey will be used at an Army base in Texas which saw a record number of suicides last year.

Beginning Tuesday, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey will provide a toll-free, 24-hour confidential helpline to assist Fort Hood soldiers and their families. The helpline is staffed by five veterans trained as peer counselors and employed by UMDNJ.

About 46,500 troops are stationed at Fort Hood, the sprawling Army post about 130 miles south of Dallas.

The Army reported 22 Fort Hood soldiers committed 22 suicide last year. That was double the number in 2009 and even higher than the previous record of 14 in 2008.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)