Suicide and suicidal ideation can have lasting, harmful effects that impact families and communities. While its causes are complex and determined by multiple factors, the goal of suicide prevention research is to understand and reduce factors that increase risk (i.e. risk factors) and increase factors that promote resilience (i.e. protective factors). VA conducts an array of research into suicide prevention that looks at everything from predictive modeling to substance use disorders to the policy impacts of Veterans’ choice of services.
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(5 of more than 57 SUICIDE focused publication briefs)
- Methods of Suicide Differ Between Stably and Unstably Housed Veterans
This study examined whether Veterans’ methods of suicide varied by housing status. Findings showed that across the study period, 3% of Veterans in the study population were unstably housed. Among the 7,005 Veterans who died by suicide, 4% were unstably housed. After accounting for demographic and health factors, unstably housed Veterans had an 86% increased hazard of suicide from self-poisoning fr...
Date: April 12, 2020
- Possible Impact of Measures to Curb COVID-19 Spread on Suicide Prevention Efforts
Social distancing and other public health actions intended to curb the spread of COVID-19 have the potential for adverse outcomes on suicide risk. However, concerns about negative secondary outcomes of COVID-19 prevention efforts should not imply that that these public health actions should not be taken. Implementation should include a comprehensive approach that considers the public health priori...
Date: April 10, 2020
- Veterans at Higher Risk of Overdose/Suicide Death After Stopping Opioid Treatment; Increasing Risk with Duration on Opioids
This study examined the associations between stopping outpatient opioid treatment, length of opioid treatment, and overdose/suicide death among VA patients. Findings showed that Veterans were at a higher risk of overdose/suicide death after stopping opioid treatment, with increasing risk the longer they had been treated before stopping. Even patients treated for up to 30 days had a rise in risk of...
Date: March 4, 2020
- All-Cause Deaths and Those Due to Poisoning, Suicide, and Alcoholic Liver Disease Higher among White Veterans Ages 55-64
After years of declining mortality rates across all age groups in the United States, increasing rates in White non-Hispanic Americans ages 45–54 were reported. This study sought to determine whether White non-Hispanic middle-aged male Veterans enrolled in VA primary care experienced similar increases in all-cause and select-cause death rates as was observed in the general population. Findings show...
Date: January 31, 2020
- Past Year Opioid Misuse Associated with Past-Year Suicide Attempt among High-Risk Veterans
The main objective of this study was to test the relationship between past-year suicide attempt and past-year opioid misuse among Veterans at high risk of suicide who also reported using at least one illicit substance or alcohol in the past year. Findings showed that past-year opioid misuse was associated with past-year, but not lifetime, suicide attempt in high suicide-risk Veterans: 82% of opioi...
Date: December 1, 2019
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