Using Data to Prevent Suicide

Alex Crosby, MD, MPH,

"By understanding what the problem is, you can take action—and that action can be very focused."

Who experiences the highest rates of suicide in your community or state? What age groups, sex, and ethnicities, and where do they live? Without data, how would you know for sure? Data tells us the “who, what, when and where” of a problem such as suicide, says Dr. Alex Crosby, a medical epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We need data not only to understand the scope of the problem but also to make sure that suicide prevention programs are focused on the people who need them most.

Watch Dr. Crosby’s first talk on the importance of data (above), then listen to his talk on sources of data (below).