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Suicide risk factors among veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder: Implications for recreation therapy

Deborah A. Tysor, MS, TRS, CTRS


Disproportionately high rates of suicide among veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) accentuate the need for greater understanding of self-injurious behaviors and diagnostic comorbidities that increase suicide risk factors. This paper outlines PTSD diagnostic criteria, discusses comorbidities that increase an individual’s risk of suicide, and introduces practical information recreational therapists can use to improve interventions. Emphasis is placed on the facilitation of interventions that address self-injury and promote positive coping mechanisms. Recreational therapists have a unique opportunity to introduce constructive behaviors that serve the same function as self-injury without causing harm to the individual.


comorbidity, PTSD, self-injury, suicide, veterans

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