Article

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: 30.39). 08/2012; 308(7):671-2. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2012.9955
Source: PubMed
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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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    • "Soldiers are viewed as a population at risk for suicide ideation and behavior in the Israeli armed forces (Lubin et al., 2010) as well as in other armies (Hoge & Castro, 2012; Reisch, Steffen, Habenstein, & Tschacher, 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The phenomenon of suicide and suicidal behaviors during military service is universal, with a recent dramatic rise in some armies. Aims: The aim of this study was to shed light on the role of dissociation and habituation as facilitators of suicidal behavior, beyond other well-established risk factors of stress, such as depression and hopelessness. Method: The study group included 167 soldiers, aged 18-21 years divided into three research groups: soldiers who made suicide attempts, soldiers who were psychologically treated, and a control group of soldiers having no history of mental health treatment. All subjects completed a suicide ideation scale and instruments measuring stress, mental pain, bodily dissociation, and habituation. Results: Suicide attempters had higher levels of subjective stress as well as depression and hopelessness compared with the psychologically treated and control groups. Using regression analysis, suicide facilitators of dissociation and habituation explained a significant proportion of the suicidal ideation variance, above and beyond the contribution of stress, depression, and hopelessness. A combined effect of stress and facilitating factors amplifies the level of suicidal ideation among soldiers. Conclusion: Identifying psychological facilitators of suicide-like dissociation and habituation may contribute to understanding suicidal behavior in soldiers and assist in developing effective suicide-prevention initiatives in the military setting.
    Crisis The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention 09/2014; 35(6):1-10. DOI:10.1027/0227-5910/a000278 · 1.09 Impact Factor
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    • "One of the barriers suicide prevention programs within a traditional behavioral health framework is that an intervention requires that someone ask for help (Knox et al. 2003). Although it may be hard for many of us to admit when we need help, many first responders and military personnel do not disclose suicidal ideation for fear of losing their jobs (Hoge and Castro 2012). Therefore, when the firefighters participated in this community-wide public arts program they were able to not only to publicly acknowledge and grieve the suicide death of one of their coworkers, but they were able to do so without needing to seek mental health services. "
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    ABSTRACT: Suicide is a preventable public health problem and a leading cause of death in the United States. Despite recognized need for community-based strategies for suicide prevention, most suicide prevention programs focus on individual-level change. This article presents seven first person accounts of Finding the Light Within, a community mobilization initiative to reduce the stigma associated with suicide through public arts participation that took place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from 2011 through 2012. The stigma associated with suicide is a major challenge to suicide prevention, erecting social barriers to effective prevention and treatment and enhancing risk factors for people struggling with suicidal ideation and recovery after losing a loved one to suicide. This project engaged a large and diverse audience and built a new community around suicide prevention through participatory public art, including community design and production of a large public mural about suicide, storytelling and art workshops, and a storytelling website. We present this project as a model for how arts participation can address suicide on multiple fronts-from raising awareness and reducing stigma, to promoting community recovery, to providing healing for people and communities in need.
    American Journal of Community Psychology 06/2013; 52(1-2). DOI:10.1007/s10464-013-9581-7 · 1.74 Impact Factor
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