Medical Surveillance Monthly Report (MSMR). Volume 19, Number 2, February 2012
ARMED FORCES HEALTH SURVEILLANCE CENTER SILVER SPRING MD
Pagination or Media Count:
Suicide is a leading cause of deaths of U.S. service members. Medical care providers may play a role in suicide prevention. We summarized the outpatient experiences of service members prior to suicide or self-infl icted injury and compared them with service members without suicidal behavior. During 2001-2010, 45 percent of individuals who completed suicide and 75 percent of those who injured themselves had outpatient encounters within 30 days prior to suicideself-harm. Primary care was the most frequently visited clinical service prior to suicideself-harm. As compared to their counterparts, service members with suicidal behavior had especially excessive outpatient visit rates within, but not prior to, 60 days of their deathsinjuries. Th e fi nding suggests that there may be one or more triggering events that lead to care-seeking. Th ese results may help identify individuals that should be screened for suicide risk.