Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Daryl Sieg


Suicide; Veterans; Active duty military personnel; Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); Depression; Psychotherapeutic interventions


Suicide is a major cause of death in the United States. Some populations, such as the veterans and active duty military personnel are at a higher risk of committing suicide compared to the general population. The risk is exacerbated by mental health conditions such as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and major depression. Few reviews have explored the effects of the recommended psychotherapeutic interventions on suicidal ideations and suicide rates for these two disorders, focusing on the veteran population. To address this, a literature search was performed using a comprehensive search through electronic databases, applying the search criteria and keywords aimed at identifying appropriate journal articles. Treatment with CPT and PE for PTSD has been found effective in decreasing suicidal thoughts, intents, and attempts. On the other hand, CBT has been found effective in decreasing suicidal thoughts among veterans with various symptoms of depression. Given that the recommended PTSD and depression treatment can have the additional benefit of decreasing the risk of suicide, it is important for clinicians to always assess the risk of suicide for veterans diagnosed with these conditions. Future research should seek to explain the mechanism by which the explored psychotherapeutic interventions decrease suicidal thoughts, intents, and attempts in patients with PTSD or depression to address the inconsistencies in the present body of evidence.