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Suicide Awareness & Prevention – An Advocate’s Perspective

Listen in to this interview with Christine Moutier, MD, psychiatrist and Chief Medical Officer for American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, as she shares her expert opinions on suicide prevalence and its connection with mental health conditions. Dr. Moutier discusses the suicide awareness advocacy community – and its growth over time to include the voice of loss survivors – and the careful line advocates walk to share stories and warning signs without increasing the personal guilt felt by many loss survivors. She shares information about measurement-based assessment for suicide risk, and shares a few available scales that health care professionals may want to check out. Lastly, Dr. Moutier touches on the importance of informed language use and responsible media representation of suicide.

Each year nearly 45,000 Americans die by suicide, which is not only associated with mental illness, but can also affect patients seen primarily in primary care settings. Stigma surrounding suicide can make it more difficult for individuals to overcome barriers to treatment. It’s becoming increasingly important for mental health care professionals to speak out, talk about prevention initiatives, know and educate the public on the warning signs and risk factors of suicidality, and join a larger conversation about raising awareness. In this series of interviews, experts in the field of mental health provider their insights surrounding the importance of suicide awareness, prevention, and treatment for individuals at risk.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the Suicide Prevention Hotline / Lifeline at: 1-800-273-TALK (8255); or text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741.


Disclaimer: The information provided through PsychU is intended for the educational benefit of mental health care professionals and others who support mental health care. It is not intended as, nor is it a substitute for, medical care, advice, or professional diagnosis. Health care professionals should use their independent medical judgement when reviewing PsychU's educational resources. Users seeking medical advice should consult with a health care professional.