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Doctor of Social Work (DSW)
There continues to be a dramatic increase in the rates of suicide within the Active-Duty military population. There have been a number of efforts to curb the rates without any prolonged success. Several actions and studies have been conducted on risk factors, prevention efforts, and treatment interventions in an attempt to reduce the rates. This capstone comprises a sequence of academic papers: a systematic literature review, a conceptualization paper, and a practical application paper. This project aims to identify the essential policy components necessary moving forward within the Department of Defense to address this critical issue. The research question leading the systematic review is if a multifaceted policy would most effectively reduce active-duty suicide rates. The review's findings outlined the policy's need to have risk reduction strategies, cognitive interventions, improved timed training, a public health model of implementation, and compliance inspections. Additionally, it is necessary to enhance protective factors already present within the military structure. The conceptual paper integrates the use of transformational leadership theory to improve policy compliance and feelings of belonging for the service member in an effort to reduce the stigma of seeking care when a service member has concerns. The practical application paper provides a framework to obtain stakeholder buy-in and a guide to policy implementation.
Loper, Michelle Rae, "Policy Change to Reduce Active Duty Suicide Rates" (2022). DSW Capstone Projects. 16.
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