Suicide Prevention Projects for German Military Service Personnel

Research Paper Title

German research perspectives on suicidality and the rationale for future multinational suicide prevention projects among military service personnel.

Abstract

As a result of scientific publications indicating that the last two decades have seen an increase in the number of suicides in the US Armed Forces, the topic of suicide in the military of other countries, such as Germany, has also received a lot of attention in media and science alike.

Risk factors for suicidal behaviour and suicide were identified in several research projects in the US, Canada, the UK, and Germany.

Until now, German suicide research among military service personnel has mainly focused on:

  • Epidemiological aspects of suicides and suicidality;
  • Individual risk factors;
  • Sub-groups at risk for suicide;
  • Suicides and deployment abroad; and
  • Associations of suicide and suicide attempts with acute mental disorders.

The key findings are summarised in this review article.

Efforts should be made to develop and evaluate risk group-focused and occupation-focused prevention and intervention programmes.

Future multinational studies should address potential differences between risk groups for fatal and non-fatal suicidal behaviour.

Reference

Willmund, G.D., Waechter, H., Helms, C., Wesemann, U., Heß, J., Seiffert, A., Bambridge, D., Lutz Zimmermann, P. & Himmerich, H. (2019) German research perspectives on suicidality and the rationale for future multinational suicide prevention projects among military service personnel. International Review of Psychiatry (Abingdon, England). 31(1):60-74. doi: 10.1080/09540261.2019.1581146. Epub 2019 May 1.

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