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Concept: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention


People bereaved by suicide are at increased risk of suicide attempt and suicide, but explanations for these associations remain theoretical. It is possible that the experience of suicide bereavement modifies personal attitudes towards suicide, but the nature of these changes remains unexplored. There is a need to understand personal attitudes to suicide following suicide bereavement, as this may inform the development of suicide prevention interventions. Our aim was to explore the attitudes of young adults bereaved by suicide towards their own likelihood of dying by suicide.

Concepts: Scientific method, Psychology, Death, Sociology, United Kingdom, Qualitative research, Suicide, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention


US and UK suicide prevention strategies suggest that bereavement by the suicide of a relative or friend is a risk factor for suicide. However, evidence is lacking that the risk exceeds that of any sudden bereavement, is specific to suicide, or applies to peer suicide. We conducted the first controlled UK-wide study to test the hypothesis that young adults bereaved by suicide have an increased risk of suicidal ideation and suicide attempt compared with young adults bereaved by other sudden deaths.

Concepts: Death, Sociology, Bipolar disorder, Suicide, Parasuicide, Peer-to-peer, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Suicidal ideation


Suicide disproportionately affects American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/AN). The suicide rate among AI/AN has been increasing since 2003 (1), and in 2015, AI/AN suicide rates in the 18 states participating in the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) were 21.5 per 100,000, more than 3.5 times higher than those among racial/ethnic groups with the lowest rates.* To study completed suicides across all ages of AI/AN, NVDRS data collected from 2003 to 2014 were analyzed by comparing differences in suicide characteristics and circumstances between AI/AN and white decedents. Group differences were assessed using chi-squared tests and logistic regression. Across multiple demographics, incident characteristics, and circumstances, AI/AN decedents were significantly different from white decedents. More than one third (35.7%) of AI/AN decedents were aged 10-24 years (versus 11.1% of whites). Compared with whites, AI/AN decedents had 6.6 times the odds of living in a nonmetropolitan area, 2.1 times the odds of a positive alcohol toxicology result, and 2.4 times the odds of a suicide of a friend or family member affecting their death. Suicide prevention efforts should incorporate evidence-based, culturally relevant strategies at individual, interpersonal, and community levels (2) and need to account for the heterogeneity among AI/AN communities (3,4).

Concepts: Logit, Death, Demography, Affect, Culture, Suffering, Suicide, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention


Although Primary care is crucial for suicide prevention, clinicians tend to report completed suicides in their care as non-preventable. We aimed to examine systemic inadequacies in suicide prevention from the perspectives of bereaved family members and GPs.

Concepts: Qualitative research, General practitioner, Major depressive disorder, Suicide, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention


Despite higher rates of suicide in men, there is a dearth of research examining the perspectives and experiences of males at risk of suicide, particularly in terms of understanding how interventions can be tailored to men’s specific needs. The current study aimed to examine factors assisting, complicating or inhibiting interventions for men at risk, as well as outlining the roles of family, friends and others in male suicide prevention. Thirty-five male suicide survivors completed one-to-one interviews, and forty-seven family and friends of male suicide survivors participated in eight focus groups. Thematic analysis revealed five major themes: (1) development of suicidal behaviours tends to follow a common path associated with specific types of risk factors (disrupted mood, unhelpful stoic beliefs and values, avoidant coping strategies, stressors), (2) men at risk of suicide tend to systematically misinterpret changes in their behaviour and thinking, (3) understanding mood and behavioural changes in men enables identification of opportunities to interrupt suicide progression, (4) distraction, provision of practical and emotional supports, along with professional intervention may effectively interrupt acute risk of harm, and (5) suicidal ideation may be reduced through provision of practical help to manage crises, and helping men to focus on obligations and their role within families. Findings suggest that interventions for men at risk of suicidal behaviours need to be tailored to specific risk indicators, developmental factors, care needs and individuals' preferences. To our knowledge this is the first qualitative study to explore the experiences of both suicidal men and their family/friends after a suicide attempt, with the view to improve understanding of the processes which are effective in interrupting suicide and better inform interventions for men at risk.

Concepts: Psychology, Focus group, Bipolar disorder, Human behavior, Suicide, The Complete Manual of Suicide, Parasuicide, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention


BACKGROUND: Suicide is a problem of worldwide concern and research on possible protective factors is needed. We explored the role of social support as one such factor. Specifically, we hypothesized that increased social support would be associated with decreased likelihood of a lifetime suicide attempt in two nationally representative samples as well as a high-risk subsample. METHODS: We analyzed the relationship between social support and lifetime history of a suicide attempt, controlling for a variety of related psychopathology and demographic variables, in the National Comorbidity Study Replication (NCS-R), a United States sample and the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Study (APMS), an English sample. RESULTS: Results indicate that social support is associated with decreased likelihood of a lifetime suicide attempt controlling for a variety of related predictors in both the full US sample (OR=0.68, p<.001) and the full English sample (OR=0.93, p<.01). LIMITATIONS: The cross-sectional data do not allow true cause and effect analyses. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest social support is associated with decreased likelihood of a lifetime suicide attempt. Social support is a highly modifiable factor that can be used to improve existing suicide prevention programs worldwide.

Concepts: Scientific method, Sample size, Sampling, Mental disorder, Psychiatry, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention


Suicidal thoughts and behaviors among youths are important public health concerns in Utah, where the suicide rate among youths consistently exceeds the national rate and has been increasing for nearly a decade (1). In March 2017, CDC was invited to assist the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) with an investigation to characterize the epidemiology of fatal and nonfatal suicidal behaviors and identify risk and protective factors associated with these behaviors, among youths aged 10-17 years. This report presents findings related to nonfatal suicidal behaviors among Utah youths. To examine the prevalence of suicidal ideation and attempts among Utah youths and evaluate risk and protective factors, data from the 2015 Utah Prevention Needs Assessment survey were analyzed. Among 27,329 respondents in grades 8, 10, and 12, 19.6% reported suicidal ideation and 8.2% reported suicide attempts in the preceding 12 months. Significant risk factors for suicidal ideation and attempts included being bullied, illegal substance or tobacco use in the previous month, and psychological distress. A significant protective factor for suicidal ideation and attempts was a supportive family environment. UDOH, local health departments, and other stakeholders are using these findings to develop tailored suicide prevention strategies that address multiple risk and protective factors for suicidal ideation and attempts. Resources such as CDC’s Preventing Suicide: A Technical Package of Policy, Programs, and Practices (2) can help states and communities identify strategies and approaches using the best available evidence to prevent suicide, which include tailored strategies for youths.

Concepts: Public health, Epidemiology, Prevention, Bipolar disorder, Suicide, Parasuicide, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Suicidal ideation


The management and treatment of patients with suicidal behavior is one of the most challenging tasks for health-care professionals. Patients with affective disorders are at high risk for suicidal behavior, therefore, should be a target for prevention. Numerous international studies of lithium use have documented anti-suicidal effects since the 1970s. Despite the unambiguous evidence of lithium’s anti-suicidal effects and recommendations in national and international guidelines for its use in acute and maintenance therapy of affective disorders, the use of lithium is still underrepresented. The following article provides a comprehensive review of studies investigating the anti-suicidal effect of lithium in patients with affective disorders.

Concepts: Health care provider, Effect, Mental disorder, Bipolar disorder, Major depressive disorder, Suicide, Lithium pharmacology, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention


Identification of factors that predict and protect against attempted suicide are critical for the development of effective suicide prevention and intervention programs.

Concepts: Suicide, The Complete Manual of Suicide, Parasuicide, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention


Men generally have higher rates of suicide, despite fewer overt indicators of risk. Differences in presentation and response suggest a need to better understand why suicide prevention is less effective for men.

Concepts: Suffering, Suicide, Qualitative data, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention