"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

More military veterans and energetic duty service members are dying by suicide than in combat – understanding why might help prevent

Although service members know they could lose their lives in combat within the service of their country, they can not expect to lose their lives – or those they love – to suicide. A 2021 study estimated this. Four times more Active duty service members and veterans have died in war after 9/11 attributable to suicide.

Despite being recent Calls for action To improve suicide prevention throughout the military, the suicide rate amongst soldiers stays high. Notably, the energetic duty army suicide rate was almost twice as high. Active duty military service And two and a half times more General population. Suicide rates amongst veterans are estimated to be even higher. 17 or more dead Suicide daily in 2021.

My research It goals to discover what causes high suicide rates in certain groups. A greater understanding of what causes energetic duty service members and veterans to take into consideration and plan suicide is important to efforts to stop it.

Many soldiers commit suicide after the war ends.
AP Photo/Richard Vogel

Risk aspects for suicide within the military

There are many the reason why service members and veterans can have high rates of suicidal and death thoughts. In particular, risk aspects for energetic duty service members may differ from those for veterans.

Some factors connected to I commit suicide Active duty service members experience loneliness, relationship problems, workplace difficulties, trauma, schedule disruptions, increased stress, poor sleep, injury and chronic pain. On top of those same aspects, veterans also can face difficulties. Transition to civilian life.

Additionally, service members can have higher suicidality, i.e., lower fear of death, greater pain tolerance, and familiarity with use. The most deadly means Like firearms.

Rethinking suicide research within the military

Rising suicide rates suggest that researchers need to check suicide in a different way to save lots of more lives. Fortunately, several research advances are helping scientists rethink the way in which suicide is studied each inside and outdoors the military.

A man in uniform covering his face with his hand while another man has a hand on his shoulder.
Different approaches to studying suicide might help improve interventions.
Prostock-Studio/iStock via Getty Images Plus

I of my lab In a recent study, we used a few of these innovations for our study. Which leads to suicidal thoughts. between service members. We asked 92 participants to download an app on their phone and take short surveys assessing suicide risk aspects 4 times a day for one month. Using a brand new variety of statistical method called Network analysiswe were in a position to discover which suicidal risk symptoms most affected other symptoms over time.

Overall, we felt ineffective or a burden on others, feeling inferior or disconnected from others, and irritable. Key drivers Momentary and long-term risk for suicidal ideation amongst service members and veterans.

Increased effectiveness and relevance

Based on the findings of our study, considering how the military promotes and hinders a way of belonging and efficacy may help address suicide risk aspects. This could also be much more essential because the demands created by technology, e.g Drone pilot Working in quiet facilities could make energetic duty service members less connected to one another.

Additionally, some energetic duty service members report task saturation – feeling like they’ve an excessive amount of to do without enough time, resources or tools to get the job done. They also report working a disproportionate amount of hours. Inhibits relaxation and reflection.. Giving soldiers more time to reflect on their work can renew their sense of effectiveness and improve their understanding of how they contribute to overall goals.

Close-up of two people holding hands, one wearing an army uniform.
Fostering a culture of support within the military might help bond between service members.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Additionally, military leadership can find ways to prioritize and reward group-level achievements over individual achievements. This can increase connectedness and reduce feelings of helplessness, which in turn can reduce suicidal thoughts.

Finally, Relaxation techniquesIncluding progressive muscle leisure, massage and mild movement, could also be helpful in reducing movement.

There continues to be much work to be done to show the tide within the fight against suicide and to assist those that serve and protect us. If you or someone you like is excited about suicide, know that you simply will not be alone and that there may be help. For military-specific resources, you possibly can call 988 after which press 1, or text 838255. You also can visit www.veteranscrisisline.net.