Preventing Suicides in US Service Members and Veterans Concerns After a Decade of War

Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, 501 Robert Grant Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA.
JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association (Impact Factor: 35.29). 08/2012; 308(7):671-2. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2012.9955
Source: PubMed
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    • "As with any study relying on self-report, the data used in analyses may not accurately reflect the true beliefs of participants. This limitation is particularly concerning within military populations , as these individuals may be more motivated to under-report or alter their reporting of specific symptoms (Hoge and Castro 2012; Blocker and Miller 2013; Rudd 2013). Another limitation of this study is the 3-item BHS. "
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    ABSTRACT: Suicide rates within the military have continued to rise in recent years, resulting in re-doubled efforts to understand and remedy this trend. In an attempt to clarify unique pathways to suicide risk in this population, the current study examined the relationship between length of time since most recent deployment and several suicide risk factors (hopelessness, suicidal ideation, and resolved plans and preparations). Furthermore, this study examined the moderating influence of post-deployment social support in the prediction of suicide risk. Results indicated that the interaction of time since deployment and post-deployment support predicted both hopelessness and resolved plans and preparations, but did not predict suicidal ideation. These findings suggest that the negative effects of time spent away from recognized military support may be compounded by the isolating effect of decreased access to alternative supports at home, resulting in increased hopelessness and/or resolved plans and preparations. Implications for the necessity of improved post-deployment programs are discussed.
    Cognitive Therapy and Research 08/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10608-015-9719-z · 1.70 Impact Factor
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    • "Fourthly, the military service experience itself is a risk factor (Apter et al., 1993; Bodner et al., 2007; Lubin et al., 2010), due to difficult and stressful conditions characteristic of military service (Yacobi et al., 2013). Finally , availability of firearms is a ubiquitous risk factor for military suicide (Hoge and Castro, 2012; Lubin et al., 2010; Reisch et al., 2013). The profile of soldiers who died by suicide is different from those who made nonfatal suicide attempts (Apter et al., 2008; Maguen et al., 2015), according to previous studies it is estimated that for every suicide there are approximately 20–25 attempts that did not end in death (McIntosh, 2000; Simon and Shuman, 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: A major risk factor for suicide is suicide attempts. The aim of the present study was to assess risk factors for nonfatal suicide attempts. Methods The study's cohort consisted of 246,814 soldiers who were divided into two groups: soldiers who made a suicide attempt (n=2310; 0.9%) and a control group of soldiers who did not (n=244,504; 99.1%). Socio-demographic and personal characteristics as well as psychiatric diagnoses were compared. Results The strongest risk factors for suicide attempt were serving less than 12 months (RR=7.09) and a history of unauthorized absence from service (RR=5.68). Moderate risk factors were low socioeconomic status (RR=2.17), psychiatric diagnoses at induction (RR=1.94), non-Jewish religion (RR=1.92), low intellectual rating score (RR=1.84), serving in non-combat unit (RR=1.72) and being born in the former Soviet Union (RR=1.61). A weak association was found between male gender and suicide attempt (RR=1.36). Soldiers who met more frequently with a primary care physician (PCP) had a higher risk for suicide attempt, as opposed to a mental health professional (MHCP), where frequent meetings were found to be a protective factor (P<0.0001). The psychiatric diagnoses associated with a suicide attempt were a cluster B personality disorder (RR=3.00), eating disorders (RR=2.78), mood disorders (RR=2.71) and adjustment disorders (RR=2.26). Mild suicidal behavior constitutes a much larger proportion than among civilians and may have secondary gain thus distorting the suicidal behavior data. Training primary care physicians as gatekeepers and improved monitoring, may reduce the rate of suicide attempts. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Affective Disorders 07/2015; 186:232-240. DOI:10.1016/j.jad.2015.07.016 · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    • "A comprehensive report from the VA Suicide Prevention Program (Kemp & Bossarte, 2012), revealed that more than 22% of suicides in the United States are committed by veterans, which equated to more than 22 veteran suicides each day in 2010. Hoge and Castro (2012) also reported that suicide rates among active duty military have been historically lower than the general population, but this has changed with the beginning of combat in Afghanistan and Iraq. Suicide is second only to combat as the leading cause of death among active duty and reserve members of the military (Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center, 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Gay men and lesbians are marginalized in most areas of society. Throughout history, they have served in all branches of the military. All social workers are likely to encounter veterans that identify as gay or lesbian. This article provides social workers an overview of the description of gay and lesbian military members and introduces readers to areas of consideration when working with this population.
    Social Work in Mental Health 10/2014; 12(5-6):429-442. DOI:10.1080/15332985.2013.854286
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