Suicide in Peacekeepers: Risk Factors for Suicide Versus Accidental Death

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Abstract

To investigate risk factors for suicide in veterans of peacekeeping, 43 suicides and 41 fatal accidents in Norwegian peacekeepers (1978 to 1995) were compared in a psychological autopsy study. Mental health problems were the most important risk factor for suicide. Both living alone and the break-up of a love relationship contributed uniquely to suicide risk, even when controlling for mental health problems. No peacekeeping-related factor was associated with suicide. Preventive measures should focus on firearms control, improved detection systems for mental health problems in the military, and peer support through veterans' associations.

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