According to findings presented at the American Psychological Association annual meeting, suicidal behavior among service members and veterans may be more closely linked to past childhood traumas than to combat experiences and multiple deployments.

The National Center for Veterans Studies at the University of Utah found that experiencing child abuse, being sexually victimized, and exhibiting suicidal behaviors before enlisting put current military and veterans at greater risk of suicide.

Soldiers who reported abuse as children were three to eight times more likely than those who had not been abused to report suicidal behavior.  And the research study data showed that prior trauma was the common thread for suicidal behavior in all branches of service.

Studies of civilians have also shown greater suicidal risk for those who have a history of childhood abuse.  Prevention and early treatment……once again….critical!