Preventing Firearm Suicides in Military

Suicide among U.S. Army soldiers remains a significant concern for both population health and personnel readiness, with firearms constituting the majority of soldier suicides. Means restriction, or removing an at-risk soldier’s access to lethal means, is a well-established procedure for reducing suicides. Nonetheless, various cultural, legal, and practical concerns may encumber firearms restriction implementation in the U.S. Army. A new article in the journal Military Psychology reviews policy relevant to firearms restriction, including federal laws, Department of Defense directives, and U.S. Army regulations. Recommendations are provided for providers and commanders that balance the rights of soldiers with the need to ensure safety. In particular, installation restriction, field settings, enlisting supportive others, unit engagement, and off-installation storage are discussed. These approaches span the public health intervention model, providing numerous potential avenues to a balanced approach for firearms restriction in preventing suicide.

For the abstract



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