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Study Finds No Connection Between Deployment and Suicide Rates Among Vets

The rate of suicide among military personnel has more than doubled since 2005. A new study released this week in the medical journal JAMA Psychiatry found no connection between suicide and deployment.

The study looked at military members who served since the latest conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and found elevated rates of suicide for those with less than 4 years of service and had received an other-than-honorable discharge.

Caitlin Thompson, Deputy Director of Suicide Prevention for the Veterans Administration,  says it challenges assumptions about deployed service members, "When one is deployed there may be more of a sense of purpose in terms of what they are doing. There certainly is a level of social support with the group that you're going abroad with."

Thompson explains the study raises many questions for the DOD and VA to consider, "I think that it really opens up a very important opportunity to be working with the department of defense to really work on these levels of transition for those who may be other than voluntarily discharged or dishonorably discharged."

Researchers continue to look at other factors associated with suicidal risk, including traumatic brain injury and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Veterans Crisis Line offers help to veterans, as well as their friends and family. Follow this link to their website if you're worried about a veteran: