Good news in the battle against military suicide

  • Curry J
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Comments on the article in the current issue by M. D. Rudd et al (see record 2015-23405-011). Rudd et al evaluated the effectiveness of brief cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for the prevention of suicide attempts in military personnel. The authors acknowledge limitations of the study, above all, the amount of missing data on self-reported hopelessness, depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress symptoms over time. However, suicide attempts were assessed by in-person or telephone interviews and therefore were less affected by missing data. A second limitation is that the sample was 88% male, indicating the need for further study of suicide prevention among female soldiers. The Rudd et al study is the first successful controlled clinical trial of a therapeutic intervention for active-duty military members at high risk for suicide. Its limitations notwithstanding, it represents a milestone in military suicide prevention. The authors, the Fort Carson commanders who supported the project's implementation, the therapists, and especially the participants who engaged in both treatment conditions are to be congratulated for contributing to knowledge that can now be used to reduce suicide risk in other similar settings. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)

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