Analysis of Suicide Behaviors in the Navy Population
Blankenship, Neeta Serena
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Since 2010, U.S. Navy suicides have been increasing, gaining considerable attention from the Secretary of Defense. Although each case is a result of a unique series of events, several observable factors can contribute to a Sailor’s suicide risk. Factors that can influence risk of suicide include demographic and non-demographic components. By themselves, demographic components (age, race, gender) may not adequately explain correlations between suicides and contributing factors. Examining non-demographic components (i.e. deployment condition, different ratings), prior mental health diagnoses, as well as pre-screening process would provide a more complete analysis and a more accurate representation of correlations between suicides and contributing factors. This study's long term goal is to retrospectively analyze the suicide behaviors at various stages (from suicidal ideation to death by suicide) at the individual sailor level and to identify risk factors and/or the loss of protective factors at different stages of that process. For FY15, we address the following questions: 1. What non-demographic, service-specific factors (for example, sailor rating, warfare platform, combat zone deployment, type of command, transition status), and pre-screening factors (such as AFQT, substance abuse, medical or legal waivers) are associated with the occurrence of suicide attempts and death by suicide? 2. What percent of suicide decedents had a previous history of suicide attempts? 3. In both the active duty and the reserve components, how do risk factors change through different stages of suicides?
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