J Korean Neuropsychiatr Assoc.  2017 May;56(2):55-60. 10.4306/jknpa.2017.56.2.55.

Overview of the Unites States Air Force Suicide Prevention Program and Implications for Korean Armed Forces

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Medical Corps of the 1st Marine Division, Republic of Korea Navy, Pohang, Korea.
  • 3Mental Health Center, The Armed Forces Capital Hospital, Seongnam, Korea. kinotopia100@hanmail.net

Abstract

Suicide is a major public health problem among Korean military personnel. As multiple factors and their interactions are related to suicide, multicomponent intervention might be useful for reducing suicide and suicide-related outcomes. The United States Air Force Suicide Prevention Program (AFSPP) launched in 1996 is a good example of an evidence-based multifaceted program focusing on leadership involvement and whole community-level efforts. For early identification and management of an at-risk population, AFSPP aims to encourage help-seeking and reduce stigma by changing the community's social norms regarding mental health and suicide. The present study reviewed the key elements of this successful intervention and made a proposal for improving the suicide prevention strategy in the Korean armed forces. This review might be useful for establishing a comprehensive intervention in local communities and organizations outside of the military.

Keyword

Suicide; Suicide prevention; Military psychiatry

MeSH Terms

Arm*
Humans
Leadership
Mental Health
Military Personnel
Military Psychiatry
Public Health
Social Norms
Suicide*
United States
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