Preventing job loss and functional decline: Description and demonstration of the Veterans Health Administration Supported Employment: Engage and Keep (SEEK) program

The high incidence of untreated mental health concerns among veterans can harm other areas of life, including employment. Loss of employment can lead to other adverse outcomes, such as financial instability, functional decline, and increased risk for suicide. Current Veterans Health Administration (VHA) vocational services are limited in that they primarily serve veterans who are […]

The uncounted casualties of war: Suicide in combat veterans

Military conflicts are ubiquitous. There are a lot of combat veterans around the world. Suicidality in combat veterans is a large and important issue. In this article, the author discusses some aspects of this issue. The combat environment is characterized by violence, physical strains, separation from loved ones, and other hardships. Combat deployment may lead […]

Sleep disorders and suicide attempts following discharge from residential treatment

Introduction: Suicide is a significant public health concern and its prevention remains a top clinical priority of the Veterans Health Administration. Periods of transition in care (e.g., moving from inpatient to outpatient care) represent a period of increased risk. Sleep disorders are prevalent amongst Veterans and are modifiable risk factor for suicide. The present study examined […]

Association of interleukin-6 with suicidal ideation in veterans: A longitudinal perspective

Introduction: Studies showing associations between inflammation in suicide are typically cross-sectional. Present study investigated how cytokine levels track with suicidal ideation and severity longitudinally. Methods: Veterans with a diagnosis of major depressive disorder (MDD) with or without suicide attempt history (MDD/SA n = 38, MDD/NS n = 41) and non-psychiatric non-attempter controls (HC n = 33) were recruited, MDD/SA and HC groups were followed longitudinally at […]

Suicide ideation, plans, and attempts among military veterans vs nonveterans with disability

Objective  To evaluate whether veteran status is associated with greater risk for suicide in those with disability. Design, Setting, and Participants  This survey study used cross-sectional self-reported data from US adults who participated in the 2015-2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Data were weighted to represent the population. Data analysis was conducted from July to […]

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.

The effects of suicide exposure on mental health outcomes among post-9/11 veterans: Protocol for an explanatory, sequential, mixed methods study

Background: The toll associated with suicide goes well beyond the individual who died. This study focuses on a risk factor for veteran suicide that has received little previous empirical attention-exposure to the suicide death of another person. Objective: The study’s primary objective is to describe the mental health outcomes associated with suicide exposure among veterans who served […]

Deep sequential neural network models improve stratification of suicide attempt risk among US veterans

Objective: To apply deep neural networks (DNNs) to longitudinal EHR data in order to predict suicide attempt risk among veterans. Local explainability techniques were used to provide explanations for each prediction with the goal of ultimately improving outreach and intervention efforts. Materials and methods: The DNNs fused demographic information with diagnostic, prescription, and procedure codes. Models were […]

Women Veterans’ experiences discussing household firearms with their intimate partners: Collaborative, devalued, and deferential relational types

Background Rates of firearm suicide have increased among women Veterans. Discussing firearm access and reducing access to lethal means of suicide when suicide risk is heightened are central tenets of suicide prevention, as is tailoring suicide prevention strategies to specific populations. While research has begun to explore how to optimize firearm lethal means safety counseling […]

Suicide risk and prevention among U.S. Military veterans: A topical review

Veterans are a group at increased risk for death by suicide. Veteran suicide is a complex multidetermined behavior, and preventing suicide among Veterans requires community collaboration and partnership to grow awareness, reduce stigma, and increase access to suicide prevention resources. This article discusses current theories of suicide including Joiner’s (2005) Interpersonal Theory of Suicide and […]

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. […]

Association between services to address adverse social determinants of health and suicide mortality among veterans with indicators of housing instability, unemployment, and justice involvement

Suicide among Veterans continues to be a priority issue addressed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). In addition to a variety of services specifically intended to prevent suicide, VA also offers a number of services to address Veterans’ social determinants of health (SDH), several of which may be associated with elevated risk for […]

Functional impairment, internalized stigma, and well-being: Considerations for recovery-oriented suicide prevention for U.S. Veterans with serious mental illness

Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA) Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Centers (PRRCs) provide recovery-oriented care to veterans with serious mental illness (SMI). As part of program evaluation, PRRC providers regularly assess recovery-oriented outcomes. Given the high rates of suicidal thoughts and behaviors among veterans with SMI, understanding such outcomes in relation to suicide risk is crucial. Among […]

Feasibility and acceptability on continuous identity cognitive therapy as a recovery-oriented suicide treatment for veterans: A study protocol

Background: Suicide is a leading cause of death among Veterans, with rates significantly higher than the general population. To address this issue, it is crucial to develop and implement more effective treatments for Veterans with suicidal thoughts and/or behaviors, particularly those in the post-acute suicidal episode (PASE) stage. The present study aims to establish the […]

Women veterans’ experiences discussing household firearms with their intimate partners: Collaborative, devalued, and deferential relational types

Background: Rates of firearm suicide have increased among women Veterans. Discussing firearm access and reducing access to lethal means of suicide when suicide risk is heightened are central tenets of suicide prevention, as is tailoring suicide prevention strategies to specific populations. While research has begun to explore how to optimize firearm lethal means safety counseling with […]

Intentional self-harm among US veterans with traumatic brain injury or posttraumatic stress disorder: Retrospective cohort study from 2008 to 2017

Background: Veterans with a history of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and/or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be at increased risk of suicide attempts and other forms of intentional self-harm as compared to veterans without TBI or PTSD. Objective: Using administrative data from the US Veterans Health Administration (VHA), we studied associations between TBI and PTSD diagnoses, and […]

Suicide bereavement and loneliness among UK Armed Forces veterans under the care of mental health services: Prevalence and associations

Suicide bereavement is a risk factor for suicide and psychiatric illness. Its lifetime prevalence in the general population is estimated at 22%, and in one (US) veteran sample as 47%, but no estimates exist for a UK veteran sample. We aimed to measure the lifetime prevalence of suicide bereavement in a clinical sample of UK […]

Comparison of suicide rates among US veteran and nonveteran populations

Introduction The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) estimates that between 2017 and 2020 veteran suicide rates were 1.57 to 1.66 times greater than nonveterans in the US, after adjusting for age and sex differences.1 This finding does not mean that veteran suicide rates are 1.57 to 1.66 times greater than nonveterans with the same age […]

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 […]

The validity of a brief risk assessment tool for predicting suicidal behavior in veterans utilizing VHA mental health care

Suicide risk among military veterans is an important and ongoing concern. The Veterans Administration (VA) mandates suicide risk screening of all veterans seen for mental health issues, but little is known about the effectiveness of this screening. A retrospective chart review to examine all suicide risk screens at VA San Diego between October and December […]

Measuring associations of the department of Veterans Affairs’ suicide prevention campaign on the use of crisis support services

Campaigns have become popular in public health approaches to suicide prevention; however, limited empirical investigation of their impact on behavior has been conducted. To address this gap, utilization patterns of crisis support services associated with the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Veterans Crisis Line (VCL) suicide prevention campaign were examined. Daily call data for the National […]

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 […]