Lack of Prior Mental Health Diagnosis Increases Suicide Attempt in US Soldiers

by Deepa Lakshmi on  August 30, 2018 at 10:15 PM Mental Health News
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US soldiers who attempt suicide often have no prior mental health diagnosis. Data from the Army Study to Assess Risk in Service members (Army STARRS) reports that among 9,650 enlisted soldiers with a documented suicide attempt, more than one-third had no prior mental health diagnosis.
Lack of Prior Mental Health Diagnosis Increases Suicide Attempt in US Soldiers
Lack of Prior Mental Health Diagnosis Increases Suicide Attempt in US Soldiers

Risk factors for attempting suicide (sociodemographic, service-related, physical health care-related, injury, being subject to crime, perpetrating crime and family violence) were similar for soldiers with or without a prior mental health diagnosis, although the degree to which they were factors differed.

Risk factors most strongly associated with suicide attempt by soldiers with no prior mental health diagnosis included being in their first year of service.

Being female, having less than a high school education, delayed promotion and past-year demotion increased the odds of suicide attempt in both groups of soldiers with or without a prior mental health diagnosis but the effect was more so in soldiers without a prior mental health diagnosis.

The study is limited by administrative data that reflect only events that came to the Army's attention.

Study results suggest administrative records from personnel, medical, legal and family service systems could help to identify soldiers at risk for suicide attempt.

The authors of this study are Robert J. Ursano, M.D., of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland, and coauthors.



Source: Eurekalert

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