April 10, 2015

Study: Former troops at high risk for suicide

Featuring Phillip Carter

A massive study of post-9/11 service members show that troops at the highest risk for suicide are those who serve less than a full enlistment and, in particular, those who leave after less than a year — personnel whose discharges may be related to mental health issues but normally are ineligible for Veterans Affairs Department health care.

The study, conducted by the Defense Department's National Center for Telehealth and Technology, or T2, found that among the 3.9 million troops who served from 2001 to 2007, the suicide rate for those in the military less than 12 months was 2.5 times that of troops who completed enlistments or obligations.

While the rate among personnel who stayed on active duty was 15 suicides per every 100,000 troops, the average rate for those with less than four years of service was 44 per 100,000. The rate for those who served less than a year was 48 per 100,000.

  • Phillip Carter

    Senior Fellow and Director, Military, Veterans, and Society Program

    Phillip Carter is Senior Fellow and Director of the Military, Veterans, and Society Program at the Center for a New American Security.  His research focuses on issues facing v...