Year: 2016 Source: Santa Monica, CA: Rand Corp, 2015. 38 p. SIEC No: 20160204

The rate of military suicides has been increasing in recent years. In 2010 the most recent year for which we have epidemiologic data there were 301 suicide deaths among service members on active duty, equating to a rate of 18.0 suicides per 100,000 service members (Luxton et al., 2012). The increase in suicide within the Department of Defense (DoD), and more specifically among the Army and Marine Corps, has generated concern among policymakers, military leaders, and the public at large. Each service has implemented policies and programs focused on preventing suicide within the ranks. These suicide prevention programs rely heavily on trainings for service members and their leadership that aim to train service members on how to identify individuals who may be at risk of suicide, provide immediate support, and refer them to an appropriate individual who is able to offer help. In both the Army and Marine Corps, the service members responsible for identifying and referring at-risk individuals ( gatekeepers ) are typically noncommissioned officers (NCOs) and members of the chaplaincy (including chaplains and chaplain assistants in the Army and chaplains and religious program specialists in the Navy that serve marines) (Ramchand et al., 2011).

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