Leo Sher, M.D.
A research report, “Suicidal ideation and behavior among military veterans” is published in the August 2021 issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (1). Study results indicate that suicidal ideation and behavior are common among veterans, especially among young veterans.
The authors used the data from the National Health and Resilience in Veterans Study, a representative survey of about 4,000 U.S. veterans performed in 2019-2020. Researchers estimated the prevalence of current suicidal ideation, lifetime suicide plans, and lifetime suicide attempts; identified associated sociodemographic, military, DSM-5 psychiatric, and other risk correlates; and examined mental health treatment utilization among veterans with suicidal ideation, suicide plans, or suicide attempts.
The prevalence of current suicidal ideation, lifetime suicide plans, and lifetime suicide attempts was 9.0%, 7.3%, and 3.9%, respectively. Suicidal behaviors were most prevalent among veterans aged 18-44 years, with 18.2%, 19.3%, and 11.1%, respectively, reporting suicidal ideation, suicide plans, and suicide attempts. Only 35.5% of veterans with current suicidal ideation were engaged in mental health treatment. Veterans who used the US Veterans Administration (VA) as their primary source of health care more than twice as likely as VA non-users to be engaged in mental health treatment (54.7% vs 23.8%).
- Nichter B, Stein MB, Norman SB, Hill ML, Straus E, Haller M, Pietrzak RH. Prevalence, correlates, and treatment of suicidal behavior in US Military Veterans: Results from the 2019 -2020 National Health and Resilience in Veterans Study. J Clin Psychiatry. 2021 Aug 10;82(5):20m13714. doi: 10.4088/JCP.20m13714.