As a result of scientific publications indicating that the last two decades have seen an increase in the number of suicides in the US Armed Forces, the topic of suicide in the military of other countries, such as Germany, has also received a lot of attention in media and science alike. Risk factors for suicidal behaviour and suicide were identified in several research projects in the US, Canada, the UK, and Germany. Until now, German suicide research among military service personnel has mainly focused on epidemiological aspects of suicides and suicidality, individual risk factors, sub-groups at risk for suicide, suicides and deployment abroad, and associations of suicide and suicide attempts with acute mental disorders. The key findings are summarized in this review article. Efforts should be made to develop and evaluate risk group-focused and occupation-focused prevention and intervention programs. Future multinational studies should address potential differences between risk groups for fatal and non-fatal suicidal behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-74
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Review of Psychiatry
Issue number1
Early online date1 May 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 May 2019


  • Deployment abroad
  • epidemiology
  • military mental health
  • military service personnel
  • risk factors
  • suicidality
  • suicide


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