Decreasing suicide among veterans

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Nursing


Estimates are showing that approximately 22 veterans commit suicide per day. Those at highest risk for suicide are married, white males between the ages of 50-59 with a high school education or higher, located in specific western, central and eastern states. Research has shown that 45% of those who completed suicide have seen their PCPs in the month preceding their death, and 67% of those who attempt suicide receive medical attention as a result. Although PCPs may be in a strategic position to assess for suicide risk within the veteran population, research has shown that suicide screening is underutilized in the Primary Care Setting. A possible cause for this may be the inadequate training of practitioners in the area of suicide screening. Research has demonstrated that educating PCPs in this area resulted in an increase in suicide screening in their practice settings. To meet this educational gap, a podcast was created for the purpose of educating PCPs on the topic of veteran suicidality and suicide screening. To test the effectiveness of the podcast, Montana State University graduate students from the College of Nursing were invited to participate in listening to the podcast. Each participant completed a corresponding pre and posttest. Test results show an average increase of 21% in correct answers when comparing pre and posttest results, indicating that the podcast effectively served to convey intended information to participants.




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