Predictors of police suicide ideation

Suicide Life Threat Behav. Autumn 2004;34(3):277-83. doi: 10.1521/suli.


Further inquiry into processes that lead to suicide in the police occupation is necessary. Suicide ideation in police officers and possible correlates associated with such ideation is explored in this paper. The focus was on psychologically traumatic police work experiences, the development of posttraumatic stress (PTSD) in officers, and the inordinate use of alcohol associated with this condition. The impact of these occupationally based factors and their association with suicide ideation has not yet been fully explored. Results suggest that certain traumatic police work exposures increase the risk of high level PTSD symptoms, which subsequently increase the risk of high alcohol use and suicide ideation. The combined impact of PTSD and increased alcohol use led to a ten-fold increase risk for suicide ideation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology
  • Alcoholism / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Police / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology*
  • Suicide, Attempted / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires