USM research project to help with suicide prevention
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, on average there are 123 suicides per day in the U.S. which averages out to nearly 45,000 persons a year. According to the U.S. Department of Defense 123 of those Americans are National Guardsmen.
Today, the DoD is working with the University of Southern Mississippi to find methods of suicide prevention for Mississippi's National Guard. “We’re not bringing in suicidal soldiers and working with them. We’re trying to help them build some skills put some protection in place before things get bad, to see if we can prevent crisis from ever actually emerging in the first place,” said Associate Professor of Psychology, Dr. Michael Anestis.
Dr. Anestis and his associates are apart of a research and clinic study that focuses on health issues that confront Service Members. It's apart of series study commonly known as Project Safe Guard. The goal of the study is to understand if promoting healthier and safer practices can lead to long-term positive outcomes for Guard members. Researchers are particularly interested in preventing suicide and focusing on health and home safety behaviors to reduce the likelihood of possible future suicide.