Correlates of law enforcement suicide in the United States: a comparison with Army and Firefighter suicides using data from the National Violent Death Reporting System

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Correlates of law enforcement suicide in the United States: a comparison with Army and Firefighter suicides using data from the National Violent Death Reporting System

Category: Suicide|Journal: Police Practice and Research (full text)|Author: K Roberts|Year: 2019

Law Enforcement (LE) officers are considered to be at elevated risk of suicide. This study explored variables associated with LE suicide and the extent they differentiated LE suicides from those within similar occupations considered at risk – Army and Firefighters. Using a public health database of violent deaths, the US National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS), the prevalence of and association between seven suicide variables (treatment for a mental health condition, Post Traumatic Stress disorder diagnosis, alcohol and substance abuse, job problems, intimate partner problems) and suicide within LE, Army and Firefighters was computed. Method of suicide and demographic characteristics were also identified. All of the suicide variables were associated with suicide in the three occupation groups. LE suicides were differentiated from Army and Firefighter suicides by being more strongly associated with job problems and suicide by females was more common. Implications for suicide prevention strategies within LE are discussed.

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