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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 38  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 38-41

Military Suicide among Taiwanese Soldiers: A Comparative Study

Department of Psychiatry, National Defense Medical Center, Tri-Service General Hospital Beitou Branch, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Yen-Feng Lee
No. 60, Xinmin Road, Beitou District, Taipei 11243
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmedsci.jmedsci_99_17

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Introduction: Military suicide is an important issue; however, no previous studies have examined the prevalence of military suicide in Taiwan. Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of the suicide data from the Military of National Defense and compared the results year-by-year with the suicide rate given in the national data provided by the Ministry of Health and Welfare during 2003–2015 in Taiwan. We also compared the results with the United States army and the Japan Self-Defense Force during 2008–2014. Results: The results showed that military suicide rate among Taiwanese soldiers was significantly lower than the general population (t = 10.89, P < 0.001) and the average suicide rate of the military and the general population was 16.5 ± 1.5 and 8.2 ± 2.2 per 100,000 people, respectively. The results also showed a lower suicide rate among the Taiwanese military personnel (7.2 ± 1.8) compared with the military of America (18.8 ± 2.5) and Japan (36.2 ± 2.6) during 2008–2014. Discussion: Taiwanese soldiers have relatively lower suicide rate compared to the general population in Taiwan. However, military suicide prevention program has to adjust the strategy, which is different from country and culture. We should focus on this issue and build on factors that can help avoid suicide incidents by promoting positive mental health and help-seeking.

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