Circumstances preceding suicide in U.S. soldiers: A qualitative analysis of narrative data.

To gain a better understanding of military suicide, we examined suicide narratives for 135 Soldiers extracted from two large-scale surveillance systems: the Department of Defense Suicide Event Report (DoDSER) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS). Using coroner/medical examiner and law enforcement narratives captured in the NVDRS and mental health provider narrative data collected across multiple domains from the DoDSER, we examined circumstances surrounding military suicides using a qualitative content analysis approach. We identified five common proximal circumstances: (1) intimate partner relationship problems (63.0%); (2) mental health/substance abuse (51.9%); (3) military job-related (46.7%); (4) financial (17.8%); and (5) criminal/legal activity (16.3%). Evidence of premeditation was present in 37.0% of suicides. Decedents frequently struggled with multiple, high-stress problems and exhibited symptoms of coping and emotion regulation difficulties. Findings demonstrate potential points of intervention for suicide prevention strategies. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)