Many soldiers thinking about suicide show no signs
January 29, 2020
Combat trauma wasn’t predictive, Ursano said. “In the theater, they’re all being exposed to combat trauma,” he explained. “So it didn’t distinguish who was at risk.”(Reuters Health) - Nearly half of deployed soldiers thinking about suicide show no obvious signs that would help mental health professionals identify them, a new study finds.
Researchers poring through data on almost 4,000 soldiers serving in Afghanistan in 2012 found that 40% of those who said they had contemplated suicide in the past 30 days had not been diagnosed with a major mental health problem and did not show any other signs that would help health providers to identify them as being at risk, according to the report in JAMA Network Open.
“These soldiers wouldn’t have been picked up if they were just screened for mental health disorders,” said coauthor Dr. Robert Ursano, director of The Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress at the Uniformed Services University.
Identifying which soldiers are thinking about suicide, known as suicidal ideation, is very important, Ursano said.
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