Navigation Links
Many Military Vets in College Plagued By Thoughts of Suicide
Date:8/4/2011

By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- American military veterans attending college are far more likely to entertain thoughts of suicide than fellow students who have never been in the military, a new national survey indicates.

Data from the poll paints a grave picture of these students' mental health: Nearly half of all vets currently in higher education say they have considered suicide at some point in their lives, while one in five say they have actually made plans to go through with it.

Such figures far exceed estimates of suicidal tendencies among college students who have never been in the military, the research team noted.

"The data suggest that the problems experienced by soldiers while on active duty don't end when they separate from the service," said study author David Rudd, of the National Center for Veterans Studies at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. "Rather, a large number of student veterans continue to experience significant problems, including post-traumatic stress symptoms and suicide risk."

"The reported rate of suicide attempts among student veterans was six times that of the general student population," Rudd noted, "and those reporting 'serious' suicidal thoughts -- those thinking about suicide with a plan -- was more than three times that of the general student population."

Rudd and his colleagues are slated to present their findings Thursday at the American Psychological Association annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

The 2011 survey by a national student veteran coalition known as the Student Veterans of America drew responses from 525 veterans currently enrolled in college.

About 80 percent of those polled were men, and the average age of the respondents was 26. Roughly three-quarters were white (a percentage that represents the actual racial background of today's military), and nearly all had been deployed in either Iraq or Afghanistan. And about 60 percent said they had been exposed to actual combat in one or the other arena.

The results: 46 percent said they had considered suicide at some point, and more than 10 percent said they had considered it quite often. Nearly 8 percent said they had actually attempted suicide, while almost 4 percent said they viewed an attempt as being likely or very likely.

Underscoring the seriousness of the problem, the research team pointed out that such figures suggest that the role that suicide plays in the lives of student veterans is comparable to -- or perhaps even more dire -- than the role it plays among the broader pool of vets of all ages currently seeking mental health care in a VA medical center setting.

Rudd and his associates also noted that the survey results are particularly striking when compared with 2010 data complied by the American College Health Association. This data indicated that among the general college population, just 6 percent of enrolled students said they had "seriously" considered suicide. The same data revealed that a little more than 1 percent of non-vet students had attempted suicide.

The survey results prompted the authors to advise that college counselors and clinics to increase screening for trauma and programs to cope with suicidal tendencies among students with a military background.

"The importance of early and effective treatment cannot be overstated, as 8 percent of those reporting serious suicidal thoughts also reported severe post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms," said Rudd. "One of the primary worries is whether or not college campuses are adequately prepared to treat those struggling with combat-related trauma."

Mark Kaplan, a professor of community health with the school of community health at Portland State University in Oregon, thinks they are not.

"The transition from the military into civilian life is often quite difficult," he remarked. "Veterans come back and are faced with financial problems, family problems and intimate partner problems, in addition to the trauma they might have experienced while in the military. So, based on our own work I am convinced that the risk of dying by suicide is indeed higher among veterans, not only the youngest, but middle-aged veterans as well."

"This is a very complicated issue -- one of the most complex public health issues I have ever come across," Kaplan added. "And I think it's safe to say that I don't think we're really prepared yet to manage it well. Especially not in the context of colleges, which are absorbing many of these veterans into their classrooms. Clearly our mental health centers on campuses need to be doing a better job."

Because the research is being presented at a medical meeting, it should be considered preliminary until published in a medical journal.

More information

For more on veterans and suicide risk, visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

SOURCES: David Rudd, Ph.D., National Center for Veterans Studies, University of Utah; Mark Kaplan, Ph.D., professor, community health, school of community health, Portland State University, Ore.; Aug. 4, 2011, presentation, American Psychological Association meeting, Washington D.C.


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Parents Military Deployment May Harm Kids Mental Health
2. Military Members Face Raised Risk of Osteoarthritis: Study
3. Military Personnel With Mental Woes Before Deployment at Higher PTSD Risk
4. Dinner to honor icons of military medicine
5. Nonmilitary personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan more likely to be medically evacuated
6. Nonmilitary More Likely to Return to War Zone After Psych Condition
7. Families of Deployed Military Carry Heavy Load
8. US Department of Defense supports study of brain, eye injuries in military personnel
9. Military Deployment May Lead to Unhealthy Sleep Patterns
10. Sleepless soldiers: Study suggests that military deployment affects sleep patterns
11. Military experts provide civilian surgeons with guidance on handling bomb blast injuries
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Many Military Vets in College Plagued By Thoughts of Suicide
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... ... today the continuation of the ‘Pay It Forward’ program into 2016. BioPlus partners ... at our specialty pharmacy. , “Since our Pay It Forward program began, ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 09, 2016 , ... ... Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers department stores, announced it has raised ... of Wisconsin Cancer Center, Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa, ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... IsoComforter, Inc., ... introduction of the newly designed, innovative shoulder wrap. The newly designed shoulder ... for the injured arm and shoulder to promote faster healing. It is highly ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... , ... i2i Systems, an early innovator and developer of population health management ... KLAS report, Population Health Management 2015: How Far Can Your Vendor Take You? ... (PHM). The latest KLAS Report, leveraging over 200 user interviews, shines a light ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... , ... February 08, 2016 , ... ... its newly redesigned website, federallabs.org . The site houses a wealth of ... available federal technologies through the process called technology transfer (T2). As a network ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/9/2016)...  Axovant Sciences Ltd. (NYSE:  AXON), a leading ... dementia, today announced further details of three new ... aspects of Lewy body dementia, a disease affecting ... out of the three studies were recently initiated ... this quarter. In addition, the Company reported financial ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... SAN FRANCISCO , February 9, 2016 ... a biotechnology company focused on developing products for Regenerative ... will be a featured presenting company at Source Capital ... place on February 10-11, 2016 in New ... given on Wednesday, February 10, 2016 at 12:30 pm ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... -- The global prefilled syringes market accounted for $3,905.1 ... grow with a CAGR of 12.9% during 2015-2020. Among ... the global prefilled syringes market, with 90.1% share in ... The global market of prefilled syringes is up surging ... increasing demand for vaccines, increasing prevalence of chronic and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: