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1.  Veterans Crisis Line Callers With and Without Prior VHA Service Use 
This study examines differences between Veterans with and without prior Veterans Health Administration service use who received a clinical referral from the Veterans' Crisis Line. Approximately 91% of Veterans had a history of service use and 9% did not. Callers with prior service use were older, had more mental health disorders, made in-person contact more quickly, and used more outpatient mental healthcare. Those without prior service use were younger, had more mental health problems, and presented for care later. Callers with suicide-related diagnoses had high rates of service contact. These groups represent different subpopulations with unique healthcare needs and practices.
PMCID: PMC5064429  PMID: 26649615
Veterans; suicide; telephone counseling
2.  Mental Health and Self-directed Violence Among Student Service Members/Veterans in Postsecondary Education 
Using a sample of student service members/veterans, the current study aimed to examine the prevalence of psychiatric diagnoses and suicide-related outcomes and the association of hazardous duty with mental health.
Data are from the Fall 2011 National College Health Assessment (n=27,774).
Logistic regression was used to examine (1) the association of student service member/veteran status with mental health outcomes and (2) the association of hazardous duty with mental health outcomes among student service members/veterans (n=706).
Student service members/veterans had higher odds of self-harm than students without military experience. Among student service members/veterans, hazardous duty was positively associated (OR=2.00, 95% CI: 1.30–3.07) with having a psychiatric diagnosis but negatively associated (OR=0.41, 95% CI: 0.20–0.85) with suicidal ideation.
Self-harm may be a unique phenomenon among service members/veterans. Suicide prevention with this population should include information about self-harm, and future research should explore whether suicidal intent underlies self-harm.
PMCID: PMC4263812  PMID: 24918517
veterans health; mental health; suicidal ideation; attempted suicide; self injurious behavior
3.  Suicidal behavior and spiritual functioning in a sample of Veterans diagnosed with PTSD 
Spiritual well-being has been lauded to exert a protective effect against suicidal behavior. This study examines the characteristics of spiritual functioning and their association with a self-reported history of suicidal thoughts and behavior in a sample of Veterans being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The sample includes 472 Veterans admitted to a PTSD Residential Rehabilitation Program. Measures included the Brief Multidimensional Measure of Religiousness and Spirituality, PTSD Checklist – Military Version, Combat Experiences Scale, and individual items pertaining to history of suicidal thoughts and attempts, spiritual practices, and select demographics.
Problems with forgiveness and negative religious coping were uniquely associated with suicide risk, above and beyond age, gender, or ethnicity, combat exposure, and severity of PTSD symptomatology. Organizational religiousness was associated with decreased risk for thinking about suicide in the presence of these covariates. Daily spiritual experiences were inversely associated with suicidal thoughts. Differences in spirituality factors did not distinguish Veterans with both suicidal ideation and prior attempts from those who had ideations absent any prior attempts.
The findings suggest that enhanced or diminished spiritual functioning is associated with suicidal thoughts and attempts among Veterans dealing with PTSD.
PMCID: PMC4729329  PMID: 26353986
Spirituality; Veterans; Suicide; Post-traumatic stress disorder
4.  The spiritual health of veterans with a history of suicide ideation 
Introduction: In recent years, considerable empirical attention has been devoted to examining the increased risk of suicide observed in some Veteran populations. This has led to a renewed focus on developing novel support options which can be used to respond to Veterans in distress, reducing their risk of suicide. Spirituality and religion, however, have been largely absent from any public discourse related to suicide prevention, not least of all in Veteran populations. Aim: The aim of this cross-sectional study is to compare the self-rated spiritual health of Veterans with and without suicide ideation. Identifying differences which may exist between these two groups could highlight the relevance of spiritual well-being to Veteran suicide prevention efforts. Materials and Methods: Data were collected using pencil-and-paper surveys, called Spiritual Assessments, distributed within the general population of in- and outpatients at a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Using Likert-type scales, this study examines the self-rated spiritual health, spiritual devotion, and significance ascribed to spirituality in a sample of 5378 Veterans. Statistical analysis took place using chi-squared to examine differences in the distribution of responses between ideators and non-ideators. Results: Ideators significantly more often rated their spiritual health as worse than that of non-ideators. Even with similar levels of spiritual devotion or significance ascribed to spiritual life, ideators continued to significantly more often rate their spiritual health as worse than that of non-ideators. Conclusion: The results show that Veterans with suicide ideation more often rate their spiritual health as worse than that of Veterans without suicide ideation. This suggests that spiritual well-being may indeed be relevant to suicide prevention efforts in Veteran populations.
PMCID: PMC4346066  PMID: 25750787
suicide; military; religion and spirituality

Results 1-4 (4)