A toolkit for safe firearm storage in your community

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is on a mission to end suicide among those who have served, or are currently serving, in the armed forces. Suicide is complicated and tragic, but it’s also preventable  –  and safe firearm storage is an important part of suicide prevention. There is no single cause of suicide: […]

Cognitive effort avoidance in veterans with suicide attempt histories

Suicide attempts (SA) are increasing in the United States, especially in veterans. Discovering individual cognitive features of the subset of suicide ideators who attempt suicide is critical. Cognitive theories attribute SA to facile schema-based negative interpretations of environmental events. Over-general autobiographical memory and facile solutions in problem solving tasks in SA survivors suggest that aversion […]

The relationship between future self-continuity and suicide risk in military veterans with traumatic brain injury

Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) have an increased risk for suicide. A lack of Future-Self Continuity (FSC), which refers to the sense of “psychological connectedness” that a person has between their present and future selves, has also been associated with suicide risk. For this study, 308 U.S. military veterans, 39 of whom self-reported a […]

A peer approach to suicide prevention and recovery: Study protocol for a feasibility and acceptability trial of Caring Cards for veterans

Introduction There is a need to develop, evaluate, and implement interventions that reduce Veteran suicide. Caring Cards (CC) is a novel intervention that integrates aspects of caring contacts and peers (i.e., persons with lived mental health experience). In CC, Veterans meet in a weekly group to create hope-filled cards that are sent to Veterans with […]

Social support, social network size, and suicidal ideation: A nine-year longitudinal analysis from the Mind Your Heart Study

Substantial research has investigated the impact of social support on the development and course of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. However, its measurement has been inconsistent, and different facets of social support may have differential effects on suicidal ideation (SI). The present study used data from 743 veterans recruited between 2008 and 2010 as part of the Mind […]

Preventing suicide among women veterans: Gender-sensitive, trauma-informed conceptualization

Purpose of Review There is growing concern regarding suicide among women veterans, who have experienced an increase in suicide rates that has exceeded that reported for other US adult populations. Recent research has bolstered understanding of correlates of suicide risk specific to women veterans. Yet most existing suicide prevention initiatives take a gender-neutral, rather than […]

Suicide behavior results from the U.S. Army’s suicide prevention leadership tool study: The behavioral health readiness and suicide risk reduction review (R4)

Introduction The U.S. Army developed a new tool called the Behavioral Health Readiness and Suicide Risk Reduction Review (R4) for suicide prevention. A 12-month evaluation study with the primary objective of testing the hypothesis (H1) that Army units receiving R4 would demonstrate improved outcomes in suicidal-behavior measures following the intervention, relative to control, was then […]

Evaluating a recovery-oriented intensive outpatient program for veterans at risk for suicide

Background: Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and suicide risk is elevated among military veterans. Risk for suicide is inherently transdiagnostic, complex, and multifaceted, which means a comprehensive psychotherapeutic approach to risk mitigation is required. Aims: Our aims were to summarize findings from an evaluation of an interdisciplinary, recovery-oriented intensive outpatient program […]

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 […]

Veteran suicide: Missed opportunities for suicide prevention within concealed pistol license curriculum

Introduction Veteran suicide is a growing topic for public health concern. Despite enhancements from the Department of Veterans Health Administration, clinicians continue to struggle to identify and engage veterans at risk for suicide. Materials and Methods Examining suicide prevention efforts, epidemiology, risk factors, and barriers to care; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and […]

Mental health service use, suicide behavior, and emergency department visits among rural US veterans who received video-enabled tablets during the COVID-19 pandemic

Objective  To evaluate the association between the escalated distribution of the US Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA’s) video-enabled tablets during the COVID-19 pandemic and rural veterans’ mental health service use and suicide-related outcomes. Design, Setting, and Participants  This retrospective cohort study included rural veterans who had at least 1 VA mental health care visit in calendar year […]

An exploration of barriers to suicide prevention messaging with US veterans

Background: Communication campaigns offer a portable intervention to effectively reach and engage target populations at risk for suicide including US veterans. Few studies have evaluated such efforts, and still fewer have examined factors that contribute to failed suicide prevention messaging. Aims: We aimed to examine characteristics of suicide prevention messages and persuasive processes that may underlie failed communicative […]

A pilot observational study of implementing an equine-assisted services program within a VA medical center residential substance use disorder treatment program

Introduction The aim of this observational pilot study was to assess the safety, feasibility, preliminary outcomes, and predictors of participant response as a result of implementing an equine-assisted intervention within a residential substance abuse treatment program at a large Veterans Administration medical center. A secondary aim was to evaluate psychological instruments for use in future, […]

Suicide among American Indian and Alaska Native veterans who use Veterans Health Administration care 2004–2018

Background: American Indian and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) veterans may be at elevated risk for suicide, but little is known about suicide among this population. Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort analysis of AI/AN veterans who received health care services provided or paid for by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) between October 1, 2002, and September 30, 2014, […]

Spreading pride in all who served: A health education program to improve access and mental health outcomes for sexual and gender minority veterans

Access to effective, replicable services is critical to reduce known mental health disparities for sexual and gender minority or LGBTQ+ veterans (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and related identities). This paper examines the impact of a manualized 10-week health education group, called PRIDE in All Who Served on veteran patient experience, protective factors (e.g., […]

Service-connected disabilities and suicide attempts in veterans: The moderating role of mental health care utilization

United States veteran suicide rates have increased over the past two decades. Designations of service-connected disabilities (designations tied to injury during military service) are also increasing, especially those associated with mental health disorders. However, recent research around disability and suicide in veterans is mixed, and no research has been completed on the association between disability […]

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 […]

2021 National Veteran suicide prevention: Annual report

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ 2021 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report shows the overall Veteran suicide count and rate decreased in 2019 from 2018 and from 2017. The data within the report is notable because: • It provides information from 2001 through 2019, while recent prior reports included data from 2005 forward. • […]

Adapting caring contacts for veterans in a Department of Veterans Affairs emergency department: Results from a type 2 hybrid effectiveness-implementation pilot study

Transitions in care, such as discharge from an emergency department (ED), are periods of increased risk for suicide and effective interventions that target these periods are needed. Caring Contacts is an evidence-based suicide prevention intervention that targets transitions, yet it has not been widely implemented. This pilot study adapted Caring Contacts for a Department of […]

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 […]

Evaluation of the Recovery Engagement and Coordination for Health-Veterans Enhanced Treatment suicide risk modeling clinical program in the veterans health administration

Objective  To determine associations with treatment engagement, health care utilization, suicide attempts, safety plan documentation, and 6-month mortality. Design, Setting, and Participants  This cohort study used triple differences analyses comparing 6-month changes in outcomes after vs before program entry for individuals entering the REACH VET program (March 2017-December 2018) vs a similarly identified top 0.1% suicide risk […]