Reporting Requirements for a Death by Suicide or Suicide Related Behavior
The below information is available for offline reference by downloading and printing the Commanding Officer's Suicide Prevention Program Handbook here.
Understanding Reporting Requirements
These reporting requirements apply to uniformed service members only (active and reserve components).
Timeframes begin once the command is notified of the death or suicide related behavior.
If there is media attention surrounding a suspected suicide or suicide attempt, an OPREP-3 Navy Blue should be submitted. If there is no media attention, an OPREP-3 Navy Unit SITREP should be submitted. All other SRBs should be reported as an OPREP-3 Navy Unit SITREP within one hour of notification.
The Personnel Casualty Report (PCR) should be submitted as soon as possible after learning of a casualty (within four hours of notification but no longer than 12 hours). Initial PCR submission should not be delayed due to unknown or unavailable detail.
If a suicide related behavior is classified as a suicide attempt by a medical authority, a DoDSER is required to be completed by the Military Treatment Facility that provided the assessment or Tricare referral if the assessment was conducted at a civilian facility.*
For reservists not on active duty, the reserve component command medical representative will ensure DoDSER completion for all suicide attempts.
Guidance for Completing the Department of Defense Suicide Event Report (DoDSER)
In January 2016, the DoDSER process was updated to improve data quality. For suspected suicides, commands are required to initiate a DoDSER within 30 days of receiving notification of the death. It is recommended that the SPC initiate the DoDSER.
The Armed Forces Medical Examiner System (AFMES) will make official determination as to whether suicide is the manner of death. The DoDSER is to be completed and submitted no earlier than receiving this confirmation and no later than 60 days following the confirmation. The first flag officer in the chain of command can authorize an extension of up to an additional 60 days, if necessary. This extension must be submitted to OPNAV N171.
The following steps must be taken as part of the DoDSER reporting process for all active component and reserve component deaths by suicide:
Upon AFMES’ confirmation of suicide as the manner of death, commanding officers are to establish a local Suicide Event Review Board at the command.
The board will be led by the commanding officer, executive officer or command master chief.
The board will be comprised of a member of the decedent’s direct chain of command, a medical/mental health representative, an Navy Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) representative and a chaplain.
If the decedent had an impending, open, or recently adjudicated Family Advocacy Program (FAP) or legal case at the time of death, FAP and legal representatives should be included as board members.
It is recommended that the SPC be the recorder for the board and submit the DoDSER.
The Suicide Event Review Board will complete a Suicide Event Review Board Charter and utilize the DoDSER Submission Checklist as a guide for potential resources to ensure thorough reporting. These documents will be provided by OPNAV N171 following a suspected suicide.
SPCs will submit the Suicide Event Review Board Charter, summary of local postvention response activities, lessons learned and recommended best practices to OPNAV N171. Submissions should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.