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Health Care Experiences Prior to Suicide and Self-inflicted Injury, Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2001-2010
ARMED FORCES HEALTH SURVEILLANCE CENTER SILVER SPRING MD
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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-inflicted 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. The finding 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.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE