Many U.S. Soldiers Who Attempt Suicide Have No Mental Illness History

iStock

Among the 9,650 soldiers in the U.S. Army with documented suicide attempts, more than one-third had no previous mental health diagnosis, according to the latest Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS) report.

Suicide risk factors are the same for soldiers with and without mental health disorders: demographic status, service-related issues, physical health problems, injury, being the victim of a crime, committing a crime, and family violence. But the degree to which each factor plays a role differs among soldiers, according to the report.

For soldiers with no history of mental illness, being in the first year of service is a primary risk factor for attempting suicide. Others that play a more prominent role in suicide attempts by soldiers without mental health problems include:

  • female gender
  • less than a high school education
  • delayed promotion
  • past-year demotion

Sourced from: JAMA Psychiatry