Suicidal Ideation, Planning, and Attempts Among new Royal Canadian Mounted Police Cadets

Translated title of the contribution: Suicidal Ideation, Planning, and Attempts Among new Royal Canadian Mounted Police Cadets

Jolan Nisbet, Laleh Jamshidi, Kirby Q. Maguire, Tracie O. Afifi, Alain Brunet, Amber J. Fletcher, Gordon J.G. Asmundson, Jitender Sareen, Robyn E. Shields, Katie L. Andrews, Shannon Sauer-Zavala, J. Patrick Neary, Lisa Lix, Sherry H. Stewart, Gregory P. Krätzig, R. Nicholas Carleton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) report diverse occupational stressors and repeated exposures to potentially psychologically traumatic events, which may increase the odds of screening positive for a mental disorder, and increase the risk of death by suicide. The current study was designed to provide prevalence information regarding suicidal behaviours (i.e., ideation, planning, attempts) and assess for sociodemographic differences among cadets at the start of the RCMP Cadet Training Program (CTP). Method: Cadets (n = 736, 74.0% male) were administered the structured Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview by a mental health clinician or a supervised clinical psychologist trainee. The interview includes an assessment of past month suicidal ideation, planning, attempts and lifetime suicide attempts. Results: Within 1 month of starting the CTP, a small percentage of cadets reported past month suicidal ideation (1.6%) and no cadets reported any suicidal planning (0%) or attempts (0%). Lifetime suicide attempts were reported by (1.5%) of cadets. Conclusions: The current results provide the first information describing the prevalence of suicidal ideation, planning, and attempts among RCMP cadets starting the CTP. The estimates of suicidal behaviours appear lower than the general population and lower than reports from serving RCMP. Higher prevalence estimates of suicidal behaviours reported by serving RCMP, relative to lower estimates among cadets starting the CTP in the current study, may be related to age, cumulative experiences or protracted exposures to operational and organizational stressors, rather than insufficient screening of recruits.

Translated title of the contributionSuicidal Ideation, Planning, and Attempts Among new Royal Canadian Mounted Police Cadets
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-698
Number of pages8
JournalCanadian Journal of Psychiatry
Volume68
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank the RCMP cadets and the following people (alphabetically by last name) who have provided tremendous support for the current study in several different ways since inception: RCMP and Government Leaders – William Sterling Blair, Jasmin Breton, Sylvie Châteauvert, Daniel Dubeau, Ralph Edward Goodale, Louise Lafrance, Brenda Lucki, Sylvie Bourassa Muise and Stephen White; Academics – Kelly J. Abrams, Billea Ahlgrim, Myles Ferguson, Jennifer Gordon, Chet Hembroff, Bridget Klest, Laurie Sykes Tottenham and Kristi Wright; University of Regina executive, administrative and technical team members – Taryn Acoose, Olabisi Adesina, Seerat Bassi, Chris Beckett, Brad Berezowski, Jonathan Burry, Yao Che, Murray Daku, Oluwaseun David, Krysten Forbes, Jolene Goulden, Sally Gray, Kadie Hozempa, Xiaoqian Huang, Maria Kamil, Anita Kohl, Donna King, Jordan MacNeil, David Malloy, Akiff Maredia, Kathy McNutt, Megan Milani, Sara Moradizadeh, Sajid Naseem, Obimma Onuegbu, Abimbola Ogunkoyode, Steve Palmer, Cynthia Sanders, Mikhail Shchukin, Shubham Sharma, Vianne Timmons, Preeti Tyagi, Abinyah Walker, Keyur Variya, Christopher Yost and Zhe Zhang; Clinical staff and supervised clinicians – Andreanne Angehrn, Michael Edmunds, Amelie Fournier, Lis Hansen, Stephanie Korol, Caeleigh Landry, Katherine Mazenc, Michelle Paluszek, Vanessa Peynenburg, Lloyd Robertson, Joelle Soucy, Emilie Thomas and Vivian Tran. The authors would also like to thank the five anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments. The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The RCMP Study is supported by the RCMP, the Government of Canada and the Ministry of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. L. Lix is supported by a Tier I Canada Research Chair in Methods for Electronic Health Data Quality. T. O. Afifi is supported by a Tier I Canada Research Chair in Childhood Adversity and Resilience. S. H. Stewart is supported by a Tier I Canada Research Chair in Addictions and Mental Health. The current article’s development, analyses and distribution was supported by a generous grant from the Medavie Foundation, Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The RCMP Study is supported by the RCMP, the Government of Canada and the Ministry of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. L. Lix is supported by a Tier I Canada Research Chair in Methods for Electronic Health Data Quality. T. O. Afifi is supported by a Tier I Canada Research Chair in Childhood Adversity and Resilience. S. H. Stewart is supported by a Tier I Canada Research Chair in Addictions and Mental Health. The current article’s development, analyses and distribution was supported by a generous grant from the Medavie Foundation, Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.

Keywords

  • RCMP
  • mental health
  • police cadets
  • public safety personnel
  • suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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