PTSD

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Suicide Among Members of
the United States Armed
Forces
SUICIDE
Globally- Accounts for nearly ½ of all violence related
deaths
U.S.- 11th leading cause of death. 3rd leading cause of
death for ages 15-24
Ratio- 3 per 100,000 people = approximately 33,000
people each year
U.S. Military – 2nd leading cause of death historically
Ratio- 11.4 per 100,000
Basic Military Training (BMT)
Known as “Boot Camp”
Each branch varies on
length and required
training
3-7 days in-processing
6-12 weeks specific
training
All BMT’s are a stressful
environment
Ratio- 4.8 per 100,000
from 1977-2001
Military Occupational Specialty (MOS)
U.S. Military comprised of
mainly adult males ages
17-26
Statistically military
identified individuals
with the highest risk of
suicide to be a 19 year
old Caucasian male
Males 4 times more likely
to die than females by
suicide
Highest branch suicide rates
today starts with USMC,
Army, Navy, Air Force,
Coast Guard
Risk Factors
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Combat deployments have been shown to have
considerable risks for PTSD, TBI, major
depressive behavior, and substance abuse
All major risk factors for suicidal behavior
PTSD
19.1 % of troops returning from OIF/OEF show
criteria for mental health concern
10 % show signs of PTSD
Over 1 % show suicidal behavior
TBI
64 % of OIF/OEF wounds in action are injuries by
blasts known as IED (Improvised Explosive Devise)
Most severe damage from TBI
Impacts an individuals inhibitions
Other Risk Factors
• Failing
relationship
with significant
other
• Alcohol abuse
and dependence
• Easy access to
firearms
• Legal difficulties
• Financial
difficulties
DONSIR
(Department of Navy Suicide Incident Report)
Showed specific statistics- DONSIR 1999 to 2001
200 cases of completed suicides
• 122 Navy personnel
• 78 Marines
• 4 females in each branch
DONSIR Statistics
Characteristics
Navy %
USMC%
On liberty
67
64
Residence
55
61
Firearm
48
65
Relationship
62
52
The use of alcohol was used for more than 30% of
cases between each branch
All individuals showed some type of sign of
suicidal behavior
VETERANS
20 % of U.S. completed suicides may be
among veterans
Historically OIF/OEF veteran suicides are
lower than previous conflicts
PTSD often occurs most directly 6 months
or more after discharge
PREVENTION
DOD and Department of Veteran Affairs
• Continuously funding research on
military suicide
• Setting up multiple support groups and
suicide hotlines
• Providing training
• Classes on suicide prevention for every
member of military especially combat
leaders
• Seek help beyond the feeling of shame
Conclusion
Overall management and treatment of suicidal
individuals will require time and effort with
careful consideration
Sometimes you just can’t stop someone from
ending their own life, but it is everyone's
responsibility to know the signs so it doesn’t
happen
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