This brief is about a comparison between the post-service suicide risk of recent wartime veterans versus the suicide risk of the general population in the US. In policy and practice, veterans at risk for suicide should seek counseling, counselors should be aware of military service-specific stressors, and family members should support veterans through readjustment periods; the DoD and VA should continue offering medical screening and counseling services to recent veterans and veterans who were deployed. Suggestions for future research include examining the reasons for lower rates of suicide within certain military branches, determining the reasons for an excess suicide rate among recent veterans compared with the general population, and examining veterans' medical records for information on causes of death rather than relying on death certificates for data.
Kang, H. K., Bullman, T. A., Smolenski, D. J., Skopp, N. A., Gahm, G. A., & Reger, M. A. (2015). Suicide risk among 1.3 million veterans who were on active duty during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Annals of Epidemiology, 25(2), 96–100.
Mental Disorders | Military and Veterans Studies | Psychiatry and Psychology | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Social and Behavioral Sciences
Mental health, Mortality rates, Mental illness, Veterans, Research briefs
Mental health; Mental illness; Veterans; United States; Mortality; Statistics
Government and Community Services
Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University
Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, "Research Brief: "Suicide Risk Among 1.3 Million Veterans Who Were on Active Duty During the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars"" (2015). Institute for Veterans and Military Families. 283.
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