A Surprising Health Disparity: Suicide among Men in the Middle Years

General Webinar
Date:  March 11, 2014 - 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm (America/New_York)

For information, contact:

  Dominique Lieu

This webinar is designed to support the development of best practices for suicide prevention among men in the middle years of life. Bringing together panelists from the US and Ireland, this webinar will provide data on the scope of the problem, a framework for conceptualizing suicide prevention strategies, and an example of an innovative program that fits within this framework.

Learning Objectives:

  • Summarize the changes over time in US rates and methods for middle-aged adults with a focus on middle-aged men.
  • Identify risk and precipitating factors for suicide among middle-aged men.
  • Explain the “common risk approach” to suicide prevention.
  • Describe a pilot program implemented in Ireland for men in the middle years who are at increased risk as a result of economic/employment issues.

Sponsored by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center and the Injury Control Research Center for Suicide Prevention.

Event Presenter(s)


Thomas Simon, PhD, Acting Associate Director for Science, Division of Violence Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Ella Arensman, PhD, MSc, Director of Research, National Suicide Research Foundation; Adjunct Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College Cork, Ireland; and President, International Association for Suicide Prevention

Eric Caine, MD, John Romano Professor and Chair, Department of Psychiatry, and Director, Injury Control Research Center for Suicide Prevention (ICRC-S), University of Rochester Medical Center

Derek McDonnell, LLM, BSc, Programme Manager, Mojo Programme, South Dublin County Partnership


Jerry Reed, PhD, MSW, EDC Vice President and Director of the Center for the Study and Prevention of Injury, Violence and Suicide and of the Suicide Prevention Resource Center

Presenter Biographies: 

Thomas Simon, PhD, currently works as the Deputy Associate Director for Science (ADS) within the Office of the Director of the Division of Violence Prevention (DVP) in the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC). As the Deputy, he assists the ADS in providing leadership, planning, and guidance to Division management and staff on scientific policy, research methodology, and priorities for research activities. His work focuses primarily on the topics of youth violence (including school violence and gang joining prevention) and suicide prevention and the linkages across different forms of violence. He is particularly interested in how policy changes and modifications to the physical environment influence risk for violence.

Dr. Simon started at CDC as an Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine Fellow in 1996. He worked on what was then the Youth Violence and Suicide Prevention (YVSP) team. He then transitioned to become a Staff Fellow, Behavioral Scientist, and Team Leader for the YVSP Team in DVP. During his career at CDC, Dr. Simon has served as a scientific advisor on multiple etiological studies examining risk and protective factors for aggressive and suicidal behavior and longitudinal evaluations of violence and suicide prevention programs.

Dr. Simon received his B.A. in psychology from The University of Akron in Akron, Ohio and his Ph.D. in Preventive Medicine from the University of Southern California’s School of Medicine in Los Angeles, California.

He has over 90 peer-reviewed publications, government publications, and textbook chapters and has given numerous presentations at international, national, state or local conferences or meetings about violence as a public health problem, risk and protective factors for violence, and prevention strategies based on the best available evidence.

Ella Arensman, MSc PhD, is Director of Research with the National Suicide Research Foundation (NSRF) and Adjunct Professor with the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College Cork, Ireland. She has been involved in research and prevention into suicide and self-harm over the last 25 years, with a particular emphasis on risk and protective factors associated with suicide and self-harm, clustering and contagion of suicidal behaviour, and effectiveness of suicide prevention and self-harm intervention programmes. She is President of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and Vice-President of the European Alliance Against Depression (EAAD).

Eric Caine, MD, has served since 1996 as John Romano Professor and Chair, URMC Department of Psychiatry, and Co-Director of the Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide (CSPS) since its founding in 1998.  He has deep experience in the evaluation, management, and aftercare of acutely suicidal individuals, dating to the 1970s.  In the past he worked as a year-round inpatient hospitalist for nearly a decade and as an outpatient psychiatrist for more than two decades.  He participated in >100 psychological autopsies as part of a team that worked with the Office of the Medical Examiner, Monroe County, NY.  Dr. Caine has had continuous NIH funding since 1983.  In the past 15 years, he has focused on public health approaches to suicide prevention, and has led these efforts through CSPS.  He was PI of a NIH-supported collaborative consensus process on public health approaches to prevention, funded from 2001-05 by a coalition of NIMH, NIAAA, NIDA, NINR, NICHD, SAMSHA, and CDC, and a NIMH Research Education Grant from 2005-10 that supported the training and development of multiple graduate and post-graduate suicide researchers, as well as community partnership teams.  Dr. Caine led from 2004-2010 the NIMH/NIDA funded Center for Public Health and Population Interventions for Preventing Suicide, which spawned a wide variety of ongoing grants.  Administratively, he previously led the Ambulatory Services of the Department, which at the time included the Psychiatry Emergency Room; subsequently he oversaw all operational aspects of the Department’s clinical services.  Since 1996, he has served as the ultimate reviewer of all suicides and serious suicide attempts, in addition to having devoted his research career to studying suicide since 1987, and focusing specifically on suicide prevention since the mid-1990s.  Beginning in 2001, he has served as PI/PD of NIH Fogarty International Center training programs devoted to building collaborative infrastructure and preparing early career Chinese researchers devoted to suicide research and public health-population approaches to prevention.  These efforts now are expanding to the Sub-Mekong nations of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Lao PDR.  Dr. Caine recently was a member of the Task Force charged with reformulating the National Strategy of Suicide Prevention, a subgroup of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention.  Currently he directs the CDC-funded Injury Control Research Center for Suicide Prevention (ICRC-S), the only such center in the United States devoted to suicide prevention.  Its mission is to merge injury prevention and mental health perspectives to forge new public health, community oriented approaches to preventing suicide, attempted suicide, and their antecedent risks.  Dr. Caine also is a member of a NIMH organized task force to establish suicide research priorities for the U.S., in conjunction with the new National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. 

Derek McDonnell, LLM, BSc, established and currently project manages the Mojo programme.  He is also the director of Big Picture Consultancy, which provides organisational support to statutory and non-statutory organisations. To date, Derek’s experience includes working with UN agencies, NGO’s in Kenya and Tanzania and youth, mental health, sexual health, addiction and LGBT organisations in Ireland.

Derek has degrees in psychology and human rights law and qualifications in youth work, adult education and community development.

Jerry Reed, PhD, MSW, began serving as the Director of the Suicide Prevention Resource Center in July 2008.  Through this work he provides state and local officials, grantees, policymakers, interested stakeholders and the general public with assistance in developing, implementing and evaluating programs and strategies to prevent suicide. Additionally, Dr. Reed serves as the Director of the Center for the Study and Prevention of Injury, Violence and Suicide overseeing multiple projects and also serves as Co-Director of the Injury Control Research Center for Suicide Prevention with partners at the University of Rochester Medical Center.  His interests include geriatrics, mental health, suicide prevention, global violence prevention and public policy.  Dr. Reed received a Ph.D. in Health Related Sciences with an emphasis in Gerontology from the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond in 2007.  His research topic addressed variation among states in crude rates of older adult male suicide. In his work with colleagues at the University of Rochester Medical Center with the Injury Control Research Center for Suicide Prevention and in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Western Ontario, Dr. Reed is engaged in efforts that will help us better understand suicide among men in the middle years.


Webinar Recording

Webinar Presentation

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