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Science News About Military Service Members

A mental health provider talks with a veteran.
Study Shows REACH VET Program Effective for Veterans at High Risk for Suicide

A recent NIMH co-authored study shows that a Department of Veterans Affairs suicide prevention program was associated with fewer inpatient mental health admissions and emergency department visits, and a 5 percent reduction in documented suicide attempts.

An fMRI image of the brain showing two small red areas that represent the amygdala, as defined functionally by the researchers.
Brain Biomarkers Could Help Identify Those at Risk of Severe PTSD

This study has shed light on the neurocomputational contributions to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder in combat veterans, finding distinct patterns for how the brain and body respond to learning danger and safety depending on the severity of PTSD symptoms.

hand holding pen writing on tablet
A Shorter—but Effective—Treatment for PTSD

Research supported by the National Institute of Mental Health has shown that a shorter therapy (written exposure therapy) may be just as effective as lengthier first-line treatments for PTSD.

Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS)
Attention-Control Video Game Curbs Combat Vets’ PTSD Symptoms

A video game that implicitly taught combat vets that threatening stimuli are irrelevant to performing their task reduced their PTSD symptoms.

man sitting on a bench
Study May Help Department of Veterans Affairs Find Patients with High Risk of Suicide

Scientists used health data to identify very small groups of VHA patients with very high, predicted suicide risk. Such methods can help the VHA to target suicide prevention efforts for patients at high risk, and may have more wide-ranging benefits.

Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS)
Soldiers at Increased Suicide Risk after Leaving Hospital

Soldiers hospitalized with a psychiatric disorder have a higher suicide risk in the year following discharge from the hospital.

Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS)
Suicide in the Military: Army-NIH Funded Study Points to Risk and Protective Factors

Although the suicide attempt and death rates in the U.S. Army have been historically below the civilian rate, these rates began climbing in the early 2000s, and by 2008, exceeded those of civilians. A joint study between the Army and NIMH, called Army STARRS, recently released findings that shed light on the problem.