Leader perspectives on managing suicide-related events in garrison

Leaders who have personally experienced the aftermath of a suiciderelated event can provide important lessons and recommendations for military leadership and policymakers. This paper executes a thematic analysis of interviews with leaders, chaplains, and behavioral health  providers who responded to garrison suicide-related events and explores leader decision making related to memorials, investigations, and readiness.

Reculturation: A new perspective on military- civilian transition stress

Various forms of assistance are offered to help US Veterans achieve success in their post-military lives in recognition of their service. Despite the many successes, a significant number of Veterans continue to remain at risk for negative mental health outcomes, including suicidality and low levels of life satisfaction. These findings may be due to challenges […]

A systematic review of suicide prevention interventions in military personnel

Objective In response to the increasing rates of suicide in military personnel throughout the world, there is an increasing focus on the development and implement of interventions aimed at preventing suicide among this group. Therefore, the goal of the present systematic review was to examine the effectiveness of interventions focused on preventing suicidal ideation and […]

A historical examination of military records of US Army suicide, 1819 to 2017

Importance:  Suicide rates among active-duty personnel in the US military have increased substantially since 2004, and numerous studies have attempted to contextualize and better understand this phenomenon. Placing contemporary examinations of suicides among active-duty personnel in the US Army in historical context provides opportunities for joint historical and epidemiological research to inform health care professionals […]

Association of premilitary mental health with suicide attempts during US Army service

Importance  Approximately one-third of US soldiers who attempt suicide have not received a mental health diagnosis (MH-Dx) before their suicide attempt (SA), yet little is known about risk factors for SA in those with no MH-Dx. Objective  To examine whether premilitary mental health is associated with medically documented SA among US Army soldiers who do not receive […]

Self-care and wellness checks in emergency field hospitals during COVID-19 pandemic: A new self-check tool for military personnel and civilians

The authors explore the impact of cumulative stress on United States (US) military service members (SM), including soldiers and medical personnel, deployed to serve in New York City (NYC) communities. Their mission was to assist in establishing emergency field hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic. Causative biopsychosocial factors are presented, as well as the impact of […]

Preferences in information processing: Understanding suicidal thoughts and behaviors among active duty military service members

The present study examined Preferences in Information Processing (PIP), an emerging model of understanding suicidal thoughts and behaviors (STBs), in a clinical military sample for the first time. Constructs of need for affect (NFA; i.e., extent to which one engages or avoids emotional content) and need for cognition (NFC; i.e., extent of preference for and […]

Military self-stigma as a mediator of the link between military identity and suicide risk

US military Veterans are at greater risk for suicide than those who have never served in the US military. Recent federal calls include the need to investigate military-specific suicide risk and protective factors among military-affiliated populations. To date, no study has examined the link between military identity, self-stigma, and suicide risk. The current study used […]

Virtual trauma-focused therapy for military members, veterans, and public safety personnel with posttraumatic stress injury: Systematic scoping review

Background A necessary shift from in-person to remote delivery of psychotherapy (eg, teletherapy, eHealth, videoconferencing) has occurred because of the COVID-19 pandemic. A corollary benefit is a potential fit in terms of the need for equitable and timely access to mental health services in remote and rural locations. Owing to COVID-19, there may be an […]

Antecedents of suicide among active military, veteran, and nonmilitary residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia: The role of intimate partner problems

Intimate partner problems increase suicide risk, particularly among active service members and veterans. Age, marital status and military service status may modify the role of intimate partner problems in suicide. Methods: Participants included 6255 men who died by suicide at 18 years of age and older and who actively, previously, or never served in the military. […]

Reducing military and veteran suicide: Advancing a comprehensive, cross-sector, evidence-informed public health strategy

Suicide among service members, veterans, and their families is a public health and national security crisis. In 2019 alone, the Department of Veterans Affairs reported that 6,261 veterans died by suicide. The Department of Defense reported 580 suicide deaths among Active Components, Reserve, and National Guard service members in 2020; and 202 suicide deaths among […]

Pre-enlistment anger attacks and postenlistment mental disorders and suicidality among US Army soldiers

Objective  To explore the associations of pre-enlistment anger attacks with postenlistment mental health. Design, Setting, and Participants  In this observational cohort study, the Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS) New Soldier Study (NSS) surveyed soldiers entering basic training from April 2011 to November 2012, with a subsample recruited for wave 1 of […]

Predictors of suicide attempt within 30 days after first medically documented suicidal ideation in U.S. army soldiers.

Objective: The authors sought to identify predictors of imminent suicide attempt (within 30 days) among U.S. Army soldiers following their first documented suicidal ideation. Methods: Using administrative data from the Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers, the authors identified 11,178 active-duty Regular Army enlisted soldiers (2006–2009) with medically documented suicidal ideation and […]

Prevalence and trends in suicidal behavior among US military veterans during the COVID-19 pandemic

Importance: The COVID-19 pandemic has raised considerable concerns about increased risk for suicidal behavior among US military veterans, who already had elevated rates of suicide before the pandemic. Objective: To examine longitudinal changes in suicidal behavior from before the COVID-19 pandemic to nearly 10 months into the pandemic and identify risk factors and COVID-related variables associated with […]

High suicide rates among United States service members and veterans of the post-9/11 wars

Suicide rates among active military personnel and veterans of the post-9/11 wars are reaching new peaks. This report uses governmental data, secondary literature, and interviews to document a suicide epidemic that is emerging among post-9/11 fighters as part of a broader mental health crisis. The study finds that at least four times as many active […]

Effects of brief and depression and anxiety management training on a US Army division’s primary care providers

Introduction There is a nation-wide gap between the prevalence of mental illness and the availability of psychiatrists. This places reliance on primary care providers (PCPs) to help meet some of these mental health needs. Similarly, the US Army expects its PCPs to be able to manage common mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. Therefore, […]

Development of the U.S. Army’s suicide prevention leadership tool: The Behavioral Health Readiness and Suicide Risk Reduction Review (R4)

Introduction Although numerous efforts have aimed to reduce suicides in the U.S. Army, completion rates have remained elevated. Army leaders play an important role in supporting soldiers at risk of suicide, but existing suicide-prevention tools tailored to leaders are limited and not empirically validated. The purpose of this article is to describe the process used […]

2020 Report on suicide mortality in the Canadian Armed Forces (1995 to 2019): Surgeon General Report

Introduction: Each death from suicide is tragic. Suicide prevention is an important public health concern and is a top priority for the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). In order to better understand suicide in the CAF and refine ongoing suicide prevention efforts, the Canadian Forces Health Services annually examine suicide rates and the relationship between suicide, deployment […]

Military spouses’ perceptions of suicide in the military spouse community

Newly released data from the U.S. Department of Defense shows military spouse suicide to be an imminent concern for the U.S. military. Currently, there is an absence of research in the counseling profession related to suicide prevention and intervention for this population. Therefore, this qualitative phenomenological study explored the perceptions of military spouses regarding suicide […]

Interpersonal precipitants are associated with suicide intent communication among United States Air Force suicide decedents

Background Few studies explore differences between suicide intent communicators and noncommunicators, and to date, none have examined the association between suicide precipitants and intent communication. Methods United States Air Force suicide decedents (N = 236) were categorized as suicide intent communicators or non-communicators within 30 days prior to death. The top two frequently occurring suicide precipitants, categorized […]

Suicide prevention in military organizations

Suicide is an important public health problem in the demographic group that forms the bulk of military populations, namely young and middle-aged men. Suicide in the military also has special significance: certain aspects of military service can lead to serious mental disorders that increase the risk of suicidal behaviour. Moreover, military organizations have control over […]

The Airman’s Edge Project: A peer-based, injury prevention approach to preventing military suicide

In light of data indicating military personnel are more likely to reach out to peers during times of need, peer-to-peer (P2P) support programs have been implemented for military suicide prevention. Often designed to reduce suicidal thoughts and behaviors by reducing mental health symptom severity, existing data suggest that P2P programs have little to no effect […]

Association of combat experiences with suicide attempts among active-duty US service members

Importance  There is uncertainty about the role that military deployment experiences play in suicide-related outcomes. Most previous research has defined combat experiences broadly, and a limited number of cross-sectional studies have examined the association between specific combat exposure (eg, killing) and suicide-related outcomes. Objective  To prospectively examine combat exposures associated with suicide attempts among active-duty US service […]