Date of Award

Fall 8-29-2019

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Eric Van Hecke PA-C


Background: Suicide among uniformed servicemembers and veterans is hauntingly common, with numbers increasing despite growing efforts to address potential problem sources. Numerous programs, strategies, research studies and system-wide efforts continue to attempt to stifle the losses. The purpose of this systematic literature review is to evaluate the gravity of the multifactorial situation, and potentially offer insight into future plans to stop these very preventable tragedies.

Methods: A database search was conducted for studies from January 2010 or more recent using PubMed, Elsevier, ScienceDirect, and UpToDate. The search terms/keywords used were “veterans, suicide, prevention, reduction, treatment, strategies, therapy, medications, antidepressant, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, Prozac, exercise, and military”. Inclusion criteria lists studies from 57 journal articles ranging from psychiatry to neuroscience.

Results: In considering the articles reviewed, servicemembers, their friends, co-servicemembers and families continue to battle with direct and indirect consequences of suicide stemming from a multifaceted spectrum of physical, mental and even spiritual health factors. Organizations and research teams collect vast amounts of statistics adding to the list of potential origins of uniformed suicide; despite this data collection, the number of deaths continue rising.

Conclusion: Throughout the literature around servicemember suicide, there exists large amounts of subtopics that show potential for successful intervention. Continuing to pursue and implement effective treatments in compliment to providing meaningful resources can create an additive effect, with each component lessoning the servicemember’s risk of suicide.