Suicide prevention continues to be an area of concern for military and federal health care leaders, along with law and policy makers. There are three governing boards for suicide prevention in the military: Suicide Prevention General Officer Steering Committee (SPGOSC), Suicide Prevention and Risk Reduction Committee (SPARRC), and Joint Executive Council.
Below is a list of impactful reports relating to suicide and suicide prevention among service members and veterans. A more comprehensive list of MHS strategies and DoD policies can be found in the Strategy and Policy section.
- Defense Suicide Prevention Office (DSPO) Calendar Year 2013 Department of Defense Suicide Event Report (DoDSER) Annual Report
- Annual report of the DoDSER program summarizing calendar year 2013 fatal and nonfatal suicide events reported and submitted by March 31, 2014. This report is composed of aggregated DoDSER data for each of the four covered services: Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, and Navy.
- The Challenge and the Promise: Strengthening the Force, Preventing Suicide and Saving Lives, August 2010
- Suicide prevention in the military was addressed at the executive level in the 2009 National Defense Authorization Act which established the DoD Task Force on the Prevention of Suicide by Members of the Armed Forces. The task force released their final report with 76 recommendations regarding suicide prevention in the military community, to include the creation of a DoD office for suicide prevention, the Defense Suicide Prevention Office.
- Executive Order - Improving Access to Mental Health Services for Veterans, Service Members, and Military Families, August 2012
- This Executive Order directed the DoD, Veterans Affairs (VA), and Health and Human Services (HHS), in coordination with other federal agencies, to take steps to ensure that veterans, service members and their families have access to necessary mental health and substance use services and support through strengthening suicide prevention efforts, building partnerships between VA and community providers, increasing the number of VA mental health providers, and promoting mental health research and development of more effective treatment methodologies.
- Joint Fact Sheet - DoD and VA Take New Steps to Support the Mental Health Needs of Service Members and Veterans, August 2014
- This document describes the 19 new executive actions that VA and DoD will implement to improve the mental health of service members, veterans and their families.
- National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (NSSP), September 2012
- The revised NSSP was released by the U.S. Surgeon General and the co-chairs of a public-private coalition. The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance) has 13 goals and 60 objectives, within four strategic directions: (1) creating supportive environments, (2) enhancing quality care, (3) promoting access to care, and (4) improving surveillance systems.
- Health Care for Veterans: Suicide Prevention
- The report focuses on suicide prevention activities of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) within the VA. The VHA’s approach to suicide prevention is based on a public health framework, which has three major components: (1) surveillance, (2) risk and protective factors, and (3) interventions.