Incidence of suicidal ideation and suicide attempt based on time in a deployed environment

Introduction: Knowing when suicidal ideation (SI) or suicide attempt (SA) is most likely to occur in a deployed environment would aid in focusing prevention efforts. This study aims to determine when evacuation for SA and SI is most likely to occur based on the absolute and relative number of months in a deployed setting. Materials and […]

Annual report on suicide in the military: Calendar year 2022 including the Department of Defense suicide event report (DoDSER)

THE PUBLIC HEALTH APPROACH STARTS WITH DATA The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Annual Report on Suicide in the Military serves as the official source for annual suicide counts and rates for DoD. In addition, this report contains the calendar year (CY)  2022 Department of Defense Suicide Event Report (DoDSER) System Data Summary, which provides […]

Measuring our communities: The state of military and veteran families in the United States

This report  provides trends and insights into the well-being of the military-connected population, following the ten domain topics featured in our Measuring Communities data portal.

A veteran’s guide to discussing STORES: Secure storage to reduce risk (Brief version)

About This Guide (Brief Version) What will I learn from this guide? The brief version contains the essential information for Veterans to understand how to identify when a fellow Veteran may be at risk for suicide. You will learn the basics of how to talk with someone about making the environment safer to prevent suicide. […]

Detangling the association between traumatic brain injury, mental health, and suicide in active duty service members

Suicide in the military represents a significant and multifaceted problem, with complex and interdependent factors contributing to its occurrence. Disentangling the intricate temporal associations between suicide and its numerous risk factors poses a significant challenge. Of the purported risk factors, traumatic brain injury (TBI) has received special focus, given its unfortunate status as the signature […]

After the war: Surviving PTSD and changing mental health culture

After serving in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide and civil war, Lieutenant Colonel Stéphane Grenier returned to Canada haunted by his experiences. Facing post-traumatic stress disorder and an archaic establishment, he spent ten years confronting-and changing-the military mental health system from within. Coining the term “Operational Stress Injury” to allow the military to see mental […]

Suicide-specific training experiences and needs among military mental health providers

Background: Military suicide rates have risen over the past two decades, with a notable spike in recent years. To address this issue, military mental health providers must be equipped with the skills required to provide timely and effective care; yet little is known about the suicide-specific training experiences or needs of these professionals. Methods: Thirty-five mental health […]

Comparison of suicide attempters and decedents in the U.S Army: A latent class analysis

A clearer understanding of risk factors for suicidal behavior among soldiers is of principal importance to military suicide prevention. It is unclear whether soldiers who attempt suicide and those who die by suicide have different patterns of risk factors. As such, preventive efforts aimed toward reducing suicide attempts and suicides, respectively, may require different strategies. […]

Prevalence and risk factors of suicide and suicidal ideation in veterans who served in the British Armed Forces: A systematic review

Introduction: Research into the factors resulting in suicide in the military veteran population has yet to reach a consensus. Available research is concentrated on a small number of countries, and there is a lack of consistency with contradictory conclusions. The USA has produced a significant amount of research in a country where suicide is identified as […]

Gambling problems predict suicidality in recently transitioned military veterans

Objective: This study investigated associations between gambling problems and suicidality in Australian veterans. Methods: Data drawn from n = 3,511 Australian Defence Force veterans who had recently transitioned to civilian life. Gambling problems were assessed using the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) and suicidal ideation and behaviour were assessed using items adapted from the National Survey of […]

Financial strain, suicidal thoughts, and suicidal behavior among US Military personnel in the National Guard

Background: Although financial strain is an identified risk factor for suicide among US military personnel, research is limited regarding the specific dimensions of financial strain that confer the greatest risk. Aims: The present study examined the associations among multiple indicators of financial strain, suicide ideation, and suicide attempts in a sample of US National Guard personnel, a high-risk […]

Preventing suicide in the U.S. Military: Recommendations from the Suicide Prevention and Response Independent Review Committee

The Department of Defense has taken note of the SPRIRC’s work and will use it to enhance their current approach in three key priority areas. These areas include fostering quality of life, building healthy climates and cultures, addressing stigma as a barrier to help-seeking, and promoting a culture of lethal means safety. The SPRIRC report […]

Suicide among soldiers and social contagion effects: An interrupted time-series analysis

Background Suicide has become an increasingly concerning problem among soldiers in recent years. Previous research has hypothesized that media-related social contagion effects, termed “Werther effects,” may contribute to military suicide numbers. Unfortunately, there is limited empirical knowledge on such social contagion effects in soldiers. We contribute to the literature by investigating this phenomenon in the context of a specific […]

Longitudinal trends in suicidal thoughts and behaviors among US military veterans during the COVID-19 pandemic

Importance: Concerns have been raised since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic that vulnerable populations, such as military veterans, may be at increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors (STBs). Objective: To examine longitudinal trends in STBs in US military veterans during the first 3 years of the COVID-19 pandemic. Design, setting, and participants: This cohort study is […]

Predictors of suicide attempt within 30 days of first medically documented major depression diagnosis in U.S. army soldiers with no prior suicidal ideation

Background: Understanding mental health predictors of imminent suicide attempt (SA; within 30 days) among soldiers with depression and no prior suicide ideation (SI) can inform prevention and treatment. The current study aimed to identify sociodemographic and service-related characteristics and mental disorder predictors associated with imminent SA among U.S. Army soldiers following first documented major depression diagnosis […]

Genetic, environmental, and behavioral correlates of lifetime suicide attempt: Analysis of additive and interactive effects in two cohorts of US Army soldiers

Recently developed measures of genetic liability to suicide attempt may convey unique information regarding an individual’s risk of suicidal behavior. We calculated a polygenic risk score for suicide attempt (SA-PRS) for soldiers of European ancestry who participated in the Army STARRS New Soldier Study (NSS; n = 6573) or Pre/Post Deployment Study (PPDS; n = 4900). Multivariable logistic regression models were […]

Identifying central symptoms and bridge pathways between autism spectrum disorder traits and suicidality within an active duty sample

Objective: This study employed network analysis to characterize central autism spectrum disorder (ASD) traits and suicide symptoms within an active duty military sample as well as to identify symptoms that may bridge between ASD traits and suicidality (i.e., suicidal ideation and behaviors). Method: Participants were active duty U.S. military service members (N = 287). Autism spectrum traits, suicidality, […]

Dissociation and acquired capability as facilitators of suicide ideation among soldiers

Background: The phenomenon of suicide and suicidal behaviors during military service is universal, with a recent dramatic rise in some armies. Aims: The aim of this study was to shed light on the role of dissociation and habituation as facilitators of suicidal behavior, beyond other well-established risk factors of stress, such as depression and hopelessness. Method: The study group included […]

Caring letters project: A military suicide-prevention pilot program

Background: The Caring Letters Project (CLP) is a suicide prevention program that involves sending brief caring letters to discharged inpatients following psychiatric hospitalization. Several studies suggest that repeatedly sending caring messages may reduce suicides and suicide attempts in high-risk populations. Aims: The aims of this study were to (1) evaluate feasibility of use in the military setting, […]

Suicide notes, attempts, and attempt lethality during episodes of ideation among suicidal soldiers and marines

Objective: Suicide remains a significant public health problem among military personnel despite expanded suicide prevention efforts over the last two decades. It is important to understand the behavioral antecedents of suicide, including the writing of a suicide note, to inform efforts to identify imminent risk. However, the completion of a suicide note increasing the likelihood of […]

Suicide rates in the UK Armed Forces, compared with the general workforce and merchant shipping during peacetime years since 1900

Introduction The main objective was to compare suicide rates and their trends across the three UK Armed forces (Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force) from 1900 to 2020. Further objectives were to compare suicide rates with those in the corresponding general population and in UK merchant shipping and to discuss preventative measures. Methods Examination of […]

Disrupted interoception in Military Service Members and Veterans with a history of suicidality

Introduction This project tested whether Service Members (SM) and Veterans with current suicidal ideation or a history of suicide attempt had greater interoceptive dysfunction than SM and Veterans with past or no suicidal ideation. Method Participants (N = 195; 69% male) were SM (62%) and Veterans (38%) who completed measures of suicidal thoughts and behaviors and subjective […]

Differences in firearm storage practices among United States military servicemembers who have and have not disclosed suicidal thoughts or attended behavioral health sessions

Introduction Two-thirds of military suicides are by firearm, and unsafe storage increases the risk of suicide. Understanding who is at risk for suicide, their interactions with behavioral healthcare, and their firearm storage habits have implications for suicide prevention. Method Probability-based sampling was used. Inclusion criteria were current military service and firearm ownership. Analyses focused on […]