If the media is ready to change the conversation to suicide prevention, are we ready to help them?

The executive director of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline discusses how the suicide prevention community can assist the media in reframing the narrative after a celebrity suicide. In particular he asks, have suicide prevention advocates and practitioners themselves become too focused on what the media shouldn’t do as opposed to what the media can do to prevent suicide. There are many indications that the media is a willing partner. Researchers are working on efforts such as establishing a uniform framework for suicide prevention messaging, preparing the suicide prevention community with stories of suicides prevented and engaging public figures to tell their personal experiences with overcoming suicidal thoughts and how they sought help. Partnering with the media to implement these strategies can assist in changing the message from one of suicide after a celebrity death to one of suicide prevention.  

Concepts matter: Ending the self-injury mortality (SIM) epidemic is an early 21st century imperative

The author makes a case for a concept representing not separate suicide and poisoning mortality phenomena but one of single self-injury mortality (SIM). He introduces the concept of death from drug self-intoxication (DDSI) encompassing intentional, unintentional and undetermined intent. Effectively addressing SIM will require upstream approaches such as mitigating growing income inequality, economic dislocation and underemployment. With these definitions and multidisciplinary partnerships between government, private sector and community stakeholders, the author believes we can realize successes such as we have seen in reductions in mortality from motor vehicle traffic trauma, HIV, cardiovascular disease and tobacco-related lung cancer. 

Incidence and method of suicide in hospitals in the United States

Using data from the National Violent Data Reporting System (NVDRS) and the Joint Commission’s Sentinel Event database (SE), the Joint Commission estimated the number of hospital inpatient suicides in the Unites States ranged from 48.5 to 64.9 per year. This is far below the widely cited figure of 1,500 per year. Overwhelmingly, the leading cause of inpatient suicide death was hanging (65%), supporting the recommendation from a recent Joint Commission Expert Panel that all psychiatric hospitals and psychiatric inpatient units in general medical/surgical hospitals should be made ligature-resistant.

Using science to improve communications about suicide among military and veteran populations: Looking for a few good messages

Experts have recommended public communications as part of a comprehensive effort to prevent suicide among U.S. military and veteran populations. This messaging often does not support suicide prevention goals or adhere to principles for developing effective communications. This article summarizes research for creating safe and effective messages to support a comprehensive approach to prevent suicide and suicidal behavior among military and veteran populations. 

Why suicidology should pay attention to moral injury

The author discusses moral injury among Veterans, associated suicide risk, how it is similar to and different from PTSD and how it may serve as a therapeutic gateway to understanding a troubled Veteran in clinical practice.

Broad-based assessment of suicide data and suicide prevention services through the Colorado National Collaborative

This article describes an initial broad-based assessment conducted by the Colorado National Collaborative, a public health effort to align national state and local injury prevention initiatives. The assessment consisted of the creation of a data dashboard utilizing Colorado Violent Death Review data, combined with an environmental scan of existing state- and county-level public health suicide prevention efforts in order to create efficiencies in suicide prevention planning. 

Comparing suicide rates: Making an apples to apples comparison

In this article the author explains how different considerations such as where a person is from and the type of job they do can change the picture in comparisons of those enlisted in the army with those in the general population. RAND Corporation is looking into statistical tools to allow for more accurate comparisons, one of the first steps toward identifying effective prevention strategies. 

First responders: Behavioral health concerns, emergency response, and trauma

This article examines the behavioral health concerns of first responders – depression, substance use, PTSD and suicide/suicidal ideation. Its purpose is to present steps that can be taken to reduce these risks, either on the individual or institutional levels, for EMS workers, firefighters and law enforcement officers. 

Suicide and the health risks of lack of sleep

This short article discusses the importance of getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night. This can help prevent impulsivity, low frustration tolerance and increased aggression as well as suicide and suicidal behavior.