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Preventing Suicide

Definitions: Self-directed Violence

Suicide is a serious public health problem that can have lasting harmful effects on individuals, families, and communities. While its causes are complex and determined by multiple factors, the goal of suicide prevention is simple: Reduce factors that increase risk (i.e. risk factors) and increase factors that promote resilience (i.e. protective factors). Ideally, prevention addresses all levels of influence: individual, relationship, community, and societal. Effective prevention strategies are needed to promote awareness of suicide and encourage a commitment to social change.
  • Suicide
    Death caused by self-directed injurious behavior with an intent to die as a result of the behavior.
  • Suicide attempt
    A non-fatal, self-directed, potentially injurious behavior with an intent to die as a result of the behavior; might not result in injury.
  • Suicidal ideation
    Thinking about, considering, or planning suicide.

The CDC publication, Self-directed Violence Surveillance: Uniform Definitions and Recommended Data Elements is meant to promote and improve the ability of individuals and organizations to gather self-directed violence surveillance data.

Why Is a Consistent Definition Important?

A large body of literature about suicide and suicide prevention exists, however, the usefulness of this information and the ability to interpret it is often questionable. Consistent data allow researchers to better gauge the scope of the problem, identify high-risk groups, and monitor the effects of prevention programs and policies.

Suicide is more than a mental health concern. A recent CDC study showed that a range of factors contribute to suicide among those with and without known mental health conditions. However, suicide is preventable.

States and communities, including, public health, healthcare, schools, the media, and community organizations can do a lot to prevent suicide. Research has uncovered a wealth of information about the factors that contribute to suicide risk and prevention strategies. CDC has released a technical package, Preventing Suicide: A Technical Package of Policy, Programs, and Practices[6.09 MB], to help inform decisions about prevention strategies that are based on the best available evidence.

Everyone Can Know the Warning Signs and Get Help

Suicide has warning signs, such as expressing hopelessness, threatening to hurt oneself or talking about wanting to die, increasing alcohol and drug use, and withdrawing from friends and family.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Learn the steps you can take to help someone at risk by visiting BeThe1To.

Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or use the online Lifeline Crisis ChatNeed Help? Know Someone Who Does?

Both are free and confidential. You’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor in your area. For more information, visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline


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Date : 13 Sep 2018

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