Suicide prevention in a deployed military unit.


OBJECTIVE Military suicide and parasuicidal behaviors have been increasing over the last several years, with rates highest in the deployed environment. This article presents a deployment cycle-specific suicide prevention plan utilized during one U.S. Army division's 15-month deployment to Iraq. METHODS Education, identification, and intervention programs were implemented at each phase of the deployment cycle based on the specific unit activities and predicted stressors. RESULTS During the deployment, there was an annual suicide rate of 16/100,000 within the trial cohort, compared to a theater rate of 24/100,000. Peaks in suicidal ideation and behaviors occurred during months two, six, and twelve of deployment. CONCLUSIONS A deployment cycle prevention program may decrease rates of suicide in the combat environment. This program may serve as a model for other suicide prevention programs.

DOI: 10.1521/psyc.2011.74.2.127

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@article{Warner2011SuicidePI, title={Suicide prevention in a deployed military unit.}, author={Christopher Warner and George N Appenzeller and Jessica R Parker and Carolynn M Warner and Carroll J Diebold and Thomas A Grieger}, journal={Psychiatry}, year={2011}, volume={74 2}, pages={127-41} }