05:10pm Sunday 05 April 2020

Data released on soldiers' mental health risk, resilience

Soldiers' boots on the ground. (stock image)

Army STARRS (Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers) is a groundbreaking five-year $65-million research project funded by the Army and the National Institute of Mental Health. Its partners include the University of Michigan; Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences; University of California, San Diego; and Harvard Medical School.

The project has five components:

  • Historical Administrative Data Study
  • New Soldier Study (NSS)
  • All Army Study (AAS)
  • Soldier Health Outcomes Study
  • Special Studies

The NIMH says findings of researchers studying the data include: 1) The rise in suicide deaths from 2004 to 2009 occurred not only in currently and previously deployed soldiers, but also among soldiers never deployed; and 2) Nearly half of soldiers who reported suicide attempts indicated their first attempt was prior to enlistment.

Steven Heeringa, a survey design expert at the U-M Institute for Social Research who was one of the Army STARRS principal investigators, recommends that researchers interested in gaining access to the All Army Survey and New Soldier Study begin their planning by accessing the Army STARRS Research Instruments page.

The ISR Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research holds the AAS and NSS datasets. Researchers may apply to use the data under a restricted-use data agreement via ICPSR’s Virtual Data Enclave.

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