Suicide is a tragic event with strong emotional repurcussions for its survivors and for families of its victims. More than 36,000 people in the U.S. kill themselves every year, according to a 2010 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although most federally-funded suicide prevention programs focus on helping teenagers, recent years have seen a spike in rates among middle-aged people. Men seem to be especially at risk, and have nearly four times the suicide rate as women. There are also major disparities amongst ethnic and racial groups, with American Indian and Alaskan Natives being the highest risk groups.

Recent Posts on Suicide

Trade-in Transition: Mom Looks at a New Role as Kids Depart

By Julie K Hersh on August 31, 2015 in Struck By Living
Hersh finds closure of a part of her life by letting go of an old car.

Saving Lives from Suicide

By Lisa Firestone Ph.D. on August 27, 2015 in Compassion Matters
Making it more difficult for someone to access the means for suicide can provide them the time and space necessary, to awaken from the suicidal trance, to get to the help they need and, ultimately, save their lives. So, how can we get people to the help they need? What can we do on an individual level to help prevent suicide?

Is the Motivation Behind the Virginia Shootings Contagious?

Paul Mullen, Christopher Cantor and colleagues have published an analysis of possible copy-cat mass slayings, where they argue the influence of one rampage on another may have occurred across continents, and even over many years.

Bipolar Disorder Makes For Up-and-Down Friendships

Dealing with the confusion of not knowing how to help a friend with bipolar disorder.

Online Activities of Youth who Engage in Self-Harm Behaviors

By Michele Ybarra MPH, Ph.D. on August 24, 2015 in Connected
In our new infographic, we explore what young people who engage in self-harm behavior do online. Compared to youth who do not engage in self-harm, youth with self-harm behaviors use the Internet in different ways.

Pervasive Adult Developmental Disorder

Pervasive Adult Developmental Disorder is a conceptualization I developed in because I found the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV categorization system for severe mental illness to be inadequate.

Toward Living and Dying Well

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on August 22, 2015 in How To Do Life
An exercise and suggestions to help deal with the ultimate questions.

After a Suicide Tragedy, Will There Be Copycats?

A recently published study entitled 'One followed by many?--Long-term effects of a celebrity suicide on the number of suicidal acts on the German railway net', found the number of railway suicidal acts, in the following two weeks, more than doubled in Germany.

The Perilous Ethics of 'Zero Suicide'

By Michael Cholbi Ph.D. on August 19, 2015 in Ethics in Question
Sweden sets 'zero suicides' as its public health goal. Should we follow suit?

Forgiveness, Acceptance, Compassion -- and Suicide

I don’t write these words -- acceptance, forgiveness, compassion -- as if they are tiny words, like ‘it’ or ‘to.’ They are enormous words, like ‘and’ or ‘but.’ In them lies tremendous potential, so much unknown.

Beware the Witch-hunt: Depression, Pilots and Air Crashes

Should pilots undertake regular psychological assessment? And how to make it accurate and reliable?

Inside the Mind of the Pilot who Flies to Crash

While the German co-pilot’s motives remain mysterious, clues as to his psychology are being dissected, including the suggestions reported in the media that he appears to have flown fewer hours than would be expected given the career stage reached, plus he seems to have taken a mysterious break of several months in the middle of his training.

Suicide: It’s Time to Break Taboos

The suicide taboo, which has deep roots in our culture, has concealed a sad reality: that it can affect anyone at any time of life, regardless of socioeconomic status, age, race, gender or religion.

What Robin Williams’ Suicide Can Teach Us About Depression

By Erin Olivo Ph.D. on August 10, 2015 in Wise Mind Living
80% of people suffering from depression don’t receive treatment due to these myths.

A Mother Battles Suicide

By Martha Manning on August 06, 2015 in Living With Depression
In the midst of a suicidal depression, a psychologist is coaxed back to life in a way she never imagined.

6 Reasons Teens Won't Tell Parents Their Violent Thoughts

By Mark Goulston M.D., F.A.P.A. on August 04, 2015 in Just Listen
What struck me from reading about rampage killers was how common it was for caring parents to not know about the dark suicidal and violent impulses that lived within their teenage sons (nearly all the rampage killers have been male).

Who Should Own A Gun?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on August 03, 2015 in Media Spotlight
Are there specific guidelines for mental health professionals to follow in judging the risk of allowing certain people to own guns? A new article published in the journal Professional Psychology: Research and Practice provides practical guidelines for firearm assessments and the sort of questions that professionals should ask prospective gun owners.

Depression and Suicide in Black Youth

Depression is a serious mental health issue that significantly impacts the lives of many youth. Among Black youth 3.2% report suicidal thoughts and 1.4% report attempting suicide. Given the serious risk, it is important to learn early warning signs.

Betrayal and Abandonment in Therapy

By Molly S. Castelloe Ph.D. on July 30, 2015 in The Me in We
When sudden death, suicide, or a sexual advance shatters the clinical alliance.

Self-Harm Websites and Teens Who Visit Them

By Michele Ybarra MPH, Ph.D. on July 29, 2015 in Connected
A very small percent of youth visit websites about self-harm. But on the Internet, followings on one self-harm site can number in the thousands. Are these sites harmful for youth who visit them, or do they provide some social support?

Summer Is the Most Depressing Time of Year

I know most everybody thinks that the winter holidays are the most depressing time of year, but that isn’t true. More suicides happen from the end of July through the month of August than at any other time—and we don’t know why.

Failing to Protect Sandra Bland

Many legal issues surrounding Ms. Sandra Bland’s arrest and death entail further investigations, including whether existed the illegal arrest and abuse of authority by the officer who stopped her for an alleged traffic violation and whether her death at a jail cell in Waller County, Texas was suicide or murder. One thing is certain that the jail authority violated the law.

Transgender? Or TrueGender?

Being transgender is not a choice. Transgender people don’t choose to cross over and live as the other gender. They are, and always have been, the other gender. They have never felt aligned with the gender assigned at birth according to anatomy. The choice they do make is whether to live as their true gender or live a lie. This decision can be a matter of life and death.

Suicide: From Darkness to Light

Odds are you or someone you know has been affected directly or indirectly by suicide. If you know someone who lives in the darkness, or if you are personally struggling to find the light, don't give up hope. No matter how dark life may seem there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Despite an Ocean of Medication Teenage Suicides Soar

Many observers are inclined to see a causal link here: the flood tide of medications may be causing teen suicides. I’m not so sure. What we’re seeing is probably not a paradoxical effect of medication but the undertreatment of depression.

Out of the Darkness Walk II

Crossing the finish line, I had but one wish – that people with serious mental illness would be treated with respect and given the compassionate care Dorothea Dix and President Kennedy envisioned so that far fewer people would take their own lives in the coming year.

Will Kennedy LeRoy’s Suicide Have Been in Vain?

By Izzy Kalman on June 25, 2015 in Resilience to Bullying
I recently suggested that our anti-bullying efforts are failing LGBTQ kids. The truth is that they are failing all bullied kids. Sixteen-year-old Kennedy LeRoy committed suicide in the hope of preventing other bullied kids from doing the same. But the suicides won't cease until we stop trying to protect kids from bullying and start teaching them to handle it on their own.

The Psychological Effects of Shaming Children

Public shaming videos seem to be on an uptick, and the recent story of a teen girl’s apparent suicide after a public shaming incident is an extreme example. Whether or not this particular case was a one of a parent shaming his child, there are lessons for all parents on the psychological risks of using shame to change your child or teen's behavior.

"So You're Going Crazy" by Hilary Dean

Psychosis is a deeply powerful and commanding experience...that type of power demands an even greater belief in human resiliency, the company of supportive others, good treatment, daily dedication to making a life, and the tincture of time.

Are We Shortchanging LGBTQ Youth?

By Izzy Kalman on June 17, 2015 in Resilience to Bullying
The news continues to bring us tragic stories of LGBTQ kids–even ones who attend LGBTQ support centers–committing suicide because they can no longer tolerate being bullied. Perhaps its because these kids are not being taught resilience. If we truly want to be helping LGBTQ kids, here are some messages we need to be giving them.