NIH Panel Unveils New Plan to Stop Youth Suicide

October 20, 2016

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News


A panel of independent experts convened by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has published a set of recommendations for advancing research to prevent youth suicide, such as improving data systems and strengthening collaboration between research and clinical care. At the NIH Pathways to Prevention Workshop in March 2016, the working group reviewed youth suicide prevention efforts and discussed strategies to steer the direction of future investigations. “Although prevention is daunting, the obstacles created by the complex factors involved in suicide are surmountable,” they wrote. “New coordinated research strategies that embrace this complexity are necessary.” Their recommendations focused on improving research methodology and infrastructure, such as developing standardized measures that are generalizable across settings and populations, and linking multiple data sources for suicide death and attempt surveillance. They also emphasized the importance of fostering interdisciplinary cooperation on prevention efforts. “We must build and strengthen both coordination and collaboration among all members of the larger policy, practice, and research communities,” the authors stated. “We need to improve and coordinate the various surveillance and administrative data systems across these sectors. We must also elevate the level of rigor and breadth of methods used in studies of suicidal behavior.”

Spark Extra! Read the working group’s report.