SUICIDE PREVENTION AND MANAGEMENT IN THE SA NATIONAL DEFENCE FORCE: A PSYCHOLOGICAL DISCUSSION

  • Rene Koopman Faculty of Military Science, Stellenbosch University
  • Gielie Van Dyk Faculty of Military Science, Stellenbosch University

Abstract

Suicidal behaviour is a challenge for military forces around the world. Suicide can be a reaction in peacekeeping operations or conventional warfare, because the stressful nature of both types of operations can force military members to such a catastrophic end. This article focuses on the necessary knowledge and skills for a better understanding of suicidal behaviour in the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) for members on different levels. It discusses the operational environment, with specific reference to peacekeeping operations or conventional warfare as contributing factors, risk factors, and the prevention and proper management of suicide by means of educating commanders and members of the multi-professional team (MPT).
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