Asking a soldier about self-worth or emotional pain may be a better way of predicting suicide than inquiring whether they intend to kill themselves, researchers report.
Research has shown that more than half of troops who die by suicide denied in their last medical appointment that they were contemplating the act. Scientists are concerned that they fail to admit suicidal thoughts out of worry it would harm their military career.
But a Defense Department-funded study published online this week in the Journal of Affective Disorders discusses how several questions used on military members identified those at risk for suicide attempts, and yet don’t use the word “suicide.”
“Those statements of ‘I’m horrible, worthless,’ actually predict future suicide attempts better than asking them, ‘Do you want to kill yourself?’ ” said Craig Bryan, a psychologist and lead author on the study.
Read the whole story: USA Today