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PsychU Spotlight

Preventing Suicide

Suicide is both a major public health problem and a leading cause of death in the United States. The effects of suicide go beyond the person who takes their own life; the trauma of losing someone to suicide has a lasting impact on family, friends, and communities.1 Warning signs include concerning speech, changes in behavior, and differences in mood.2 There are several associated risk factors correlated with suicidal behavior like health (e.g. having a serious mental illness), environment (e.g. having access to lethal means), and history (e.g. previous attempts).2 By using a public health approach that addresses risk and protective factors for multiple types of violence, suicide, and other forms of violence, deaths by suicide can be prevented.1

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

We spent the entirety of 2018 spotlighting the detrimental effects of suicide on communities across the globe. Join us this month for an update on national statistics and efforts made over the last two years to address this serious public health concern. Visit the PsychU Spotlight to learn about the progress that advocates have made, and the continued challenges the health care field faces in raising awareness and preventing suicide.

Featured Resources

Perspectives Of A Caregiver: Suicide & Safety Questions

This podcast highlights Kathy Day’s experience as a caregiver to her relative with mental illness. Ms. Day answers questions relating to suicide and safety plans for family emergencies. Kathy Day, MPA, currently serves as a caregiver and advocate for a close family member who was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2010. She also helps to manage online support groups for families coping with mental illness like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression. Ms. Day received her MPA from Brandman University. Elizabeth DiNapoli, PhD, is a Medical Science Liaison for Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc. Dr. DiNapoli earned her PhD from…


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2020.08.03 anxiety anxiety-disorders comorbidity major-depressive-disorder stigmaarticle-summary


Article Summary | August 3, 2020

LGBTQ college students may be especially vulnerable to suicide. It is the second leading cause of death among college students, and the lifetime risk of…

2020.08.10 adherence-support-program care-coordination-optimization comorbidity payer-financing-models quality-standards-performance-measuresnews


News | August 10, 2020

Centerstone, a national leader in behavioral health care, is introducing a zero-suicide initiative at its locations in Illinois. While Centerstone has long had a focus…

2020.06.18 anxiety care-coordination-optimization major-depressive-disorder quality-standards-performance-measuresarchived-webinar


Archived Webinar | June 18, 2020

In this webinar, psychiatrist Roger S. McIntyre discusses with Senior Medical Science Liaison Kimberly Lonergan the psychological impact of COVID-19 on those with and without…

2020.05.25 anxiety bipolar-disorder substance-abuse comorbidity major-depressive-disordernews


News | May 25, 2020

Between 1999 and 2018, the suicide rate in the United States rose by 35%, from 10.5 per 100,000 population in 1999, to 14.2 per 100,000…

2020.03.30 care-coordination-optimization major-depressive-disordercommunity-voices video


Community Voices | March 30, 2020

The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention (AFSP) has been a supporting organization of PsychU since 2018. Dr. Jill Harkavy-Freidman sat down with PsychU to talk…

2020.02.03 bipolar-disorder health-care-policy-legislation major-depressive-disordernews


News | February 3, 2020

On December 12, 2019, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) unanimously approved “988” as the official phone number for suicide prevention. The purpose in having…

2019.10.28 major-depressive-disordercommunity-voices


Community Voices | October 28, 2019

Dr. Nicole Meade discusses suicide awareness and prevention, a topic that is extremely important to our community. Dr. Meade examines suicide statistics and terminology, such…

2019.09.10 major-depressive-disorder quality-standards-performance-measuresarchived-webinar


Archived Webinar | September 10, 2019

Worldwide, nearly 800,000 people die of suicide each year.1 In this webinar, effective suicide prevention strategies, such as placing a focus on more sensitively identifying…

2019.05.27 stigmapresentation


Presentation | May 27, 2019

Listen in as Dr. Rachel Self and Dr. Bryan Archuleta dive into the importance of raising mental health awareness and the interplay between suicide, mental…

2019.02.11 major-depressive-disorder quality-standards-performance-measuresnews


News | February 11, 2019

On November 29, 2018, in a revision to its National Patient Safety Goal, The Joint Commission announced that it will require hospitals to screen individuals…

2018.12.03 major-depressive-disorderresearch-summary


Research Summary | December 3, 2018

Background & Methodology After declining since 1986, the suicide rate in the United States has increased during 2000- 2015. Approximately 600,000 residents died by suicide…

2018.11.26 resource


Resource | November 26, 2018

Since its inception in 2014, Otsuka's PsychU mental health community and knowledge center has offered a wealth of resources and information for mental health professionals…

2018.08.16 major-depressive-disorder stigmacommunity-voices


Community Voices | August 16, 2018

In this interview, hear from William Coryell, MD, the George Winokur Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, a Scientific…

2018.07.10 major-depressive-disorder stigmacommunity-voices


Community Voices | July 10, 2018

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…

2018.07.10 major-depressive-disorder stigmacommunity-voices


Community Voices | July 10, 2018

Listen in to this interview with Allen Doederlein, Executive Vice President of External Affairs, Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) and PsychU Stigma Section Editor,…


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Did You Know?

  • Data about self-harm and suicide attempts collected by hospitals is key to suicide prevention efforts, as both behaviors are associated with higher risk of death by suicide and data can help to identify individuals at risk.

    Reference:
    World Health Organization (WHO). (2016). Practice manual for establishing and maintaining surveillance systems for suicide attempts and self-harm. https://www.who.int/mental_health/suicide-prevention/attempts_surveillance_systems/en/.

  • Among individuals aged 20–24, the U.S. suicide rate rose 36% between 2000 and 2017.

    Reference:
    Curtin, S. C., & Heron, M. (2019). Death rates due to suicide and homicide among persons aged 10–24: United States, 2000–2017 (NCHS Data Brief No. 352). https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db352-h.pdf.

  • Across all age groups in the United States since 2008, suicide is ranked the 10th leading cause of death.

    Reference:
    Hedegaard, H., Curtin, S. C., & Warner, M. (2018). Suicide mortality in the United States, 1999–2017 (NCHS Data Brief No. 330). https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db330-h.pdf.

  • Among women, suicide rates are highest for individuals aged 45–64. For males, rates are highest among those 75 years of age or older.

    Reference:
    Hedegaard, H., Curtin, S. C., & Warner, M. (2018). Suicide mortality in the United States, 1999–2017 (NCHS Data Brief No. 330). https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db330-h.pdf.

  • Age-adjusted suicide rates among urban counties in the United States increased 16% between 1999 and 2017.

    Reference:
    Hedegaard, H., Curtin, S. C., & Warner, M. (2018). Suicide mortality in the United States, 1999–2017 (NCHS Data Brief No. 330). https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db330-h.pdf.

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