Suicide prevention strategies in military populations

Authored by: Marissa N. Eusebio , Abigale Brady , Bruce Bongar

The Routledge International Handbook of Military Psychology and Mental Health

Print publication date:  December  2019
Online publication date:  December  2019

Print ISBN: 9780367237066
eBook ISBN: 9780429281266
Adobe ISBN:


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Suicide continues to be a significant health concern among military populations. The Department of Veterans Affairs recently conducted an analysis of deaths by suicide from 1979 to 2014, revealing that risk for suicide is 22% higher among United States veterans when compared to non-veteran counterparts. More specifically, male veterans are at a 19% higher risk for suicide than male non-veteran adults, and suicide risk for female veterans is 2.5 times higher than female non-veteran adults. By contrast, research suggests that suicide rates among active military personnel from 2005–2014 overall have been shown to be comparable to civilian rates. Although suicide is a health concern within the general population, the disparity among veterans at risk for suicide has led to recent development of suicide prevention efforts specific to military populations. This chapter will discuss various subgroups within the military that are at increased risk for suicide and various suicide prevention strategies to reduce the risk of suicide within the military.

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