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Military Health System

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Suicide Risk

The Department of Defense and its partners continue to examine how various military-specific stressors could contribute to suicide-related behaviors and mortality in the force.

The 2021 Department of Defense Suicide Event Report provides some insights about active component service members who died by suicide:

  • The suicide mortality rate for the active component was 24.3 deaths per 100,000 population.
  • Firearm was the most common mechanism of injury.
  • 44% had a known behavioral health diagnosis.
  • Within 90 days prior to death, 44% of decedents had known relationship problems, 23% had known legal/administrative problems, and 13% had known work-related problems.

Although suicide is a serious public health problem, it is preventable. All providers in the Military Health System should be aware of warning signs in their patients and refer them to mental health specialists for screening, treatment, and firearm and means safety precautions whenever suicide risk may be an issue.  

Go to the DoDSER annual report archive to view previous years' reports.

Suicide Prevention Crisis Services

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Last Updated: August 11, 2023
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