Military Veterans’ Experiences with Suicidal Ideation: Implications for Intervention and Prevention

The authors of this study sought to understand veterans’ experiences with suicidal ideation. They conducted semistructured interviews with 34 veterans that addressed circumstances leading up to disclosure of suicidal ideation during brief clinical assessments. The authors used an iterative, inductive and deductive thematic analysis approach. Results revealed three pervasive, persistent domains that reinforce the uniqueness of veteran suicidal thoughts: military culture, difficult deployment experiences, and postdeployment adjustment challenges. Within postdeployment, they identified four themes that serve as intervention targets: adjusting to civilian culture, changes to sense of self, feeling overwhelmed by stressors, and lacking life purpose or meaning.

Population of focus: Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans

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Date: 2014

Journal: Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior