Study identifies soldiers most at risk for suicide attempts

CHICAGO, Ill. (WPVI) -- Suicide has been a rising problem for America's military men and women.

The rate has shot up since 2005. And in the past four years, it's taken more lives than war, despite the ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Now doctors may be making some important progress.

Even though there's now more help for mental health problems and substance abuse, after studying 150,000 soldiers over five years, researchers at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences say some groups are more likely to attempt suicide.

They include soldiers never deployed, and the highest risk comes in the second month of service.

For those sent overseas, the riskiest time is six months into their first deployment.

Across the board, suicide attempts are higher in women, in their first two years of service.

And currently or previously deployed soldiers were more likely to use a firearm in their attempt.

The research team says that may be due to their increased access to firearms.

Doctors say the information may help the Army provide support when it's needed most.
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