Online Program

An overview of suicide among veterans and evaluation of existing programs

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 10:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Robert Bossarte, Ph.D., VISN 2 Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention
Earlier this year, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) released a comprehensive suicide data report. Included in this report were results from analyses of data on suicide and suicide prevention services obtained in support of VA suicide prevention programs and clinical care for those who use VA services.

The VA's Suicide Data Report (SDR) included information on all suicides reported in 21 states (1999-2010), information on all suicide-related events obtained from internal suicide behavior reports used to inform clinical care and case management for Veterans at high-risk for suicide (2009-2012), and calls to the national toll-free Veterans Crisis Line (2009-2012).

Results from analyses of mortality data suggest that the percentage of all suicides identified as Veterans of military service decreased between 2000-2004 and has remained comparatively constant in recent years and Veterans who have died from suicide are older than those without history of military service. Data from suicide behavior reports identified age-related trends in the rate of non-fatal suicide events among Veterans who use VA services, decreases in the overall suicide event rate among all users of VA services and 12 month repeat event rate, and recent service use for a majority of all Veterans with report of a non-fatal suicide event.

The presentation will include results from additional analyses included in the SDR, ongoing efforts to evaluate the impact of VA-supported suicide prevention programs, and outcomes among those with history of U.S. military service.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe differences in suicide among Veterans of military service. Identify periods of increased suicide risk among those using mental health services. Describe changes in outcomes among those accessing crisis support services.

Keyword(s): Mental Health Services, Suicide

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an experienced suicide prevention researcher, director of a suicide prevention researcher center, and co-author of the VA's suicide data report.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.