Suicide, or ending one's own life, is a tragic event with strong emotional repercussions for its survivors and for families of its victims. More than 44,000 people in the U.S. killed themselves in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, making it the 10th leading cause of death overall. Although many suicide prevention programs focus on helping teenagers, the highest number of suicides in the U.S. in 2015 occurred among people ages 45 to 54. Men are especially at risk, with a suicide rate approximately four times higher than that of 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

Why We Need to Address Mean Girl Behavior Early and Often

By Katie Hurley, LCSW on January 16, 2018 in Worry-Free Kids
Do mean girls leaving a lasting impact?

How Stigma Kills Doctors

Stigma is driving suicide in some doctors. Fortunately, courageous stories of doctors living with psychiatric illness are unlocking the shame.

Is Anything a Secret Anymore?

Because communication has opened up so much in the past decade, it's possible that we're breaking down some of the secrecy surrounding mental health issues.

"Do Animals Really Know They're Gonna Die?"

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on January 08, 2018 in Animal Emotions
Discussions about whether animals commit suicide raise many interesting questions for which there are few, if any, definitive answers about what they know about death and dying.

Depression and Suicide

By Nancy Rappaport M.D. on January 08, 2018 in We Are Only Human
As students return to schools after the holidays, parents should also have a potentially life-saving talk with their kids to avert a possible tragedy — suicide.

A New Look at Animal Suicide

A new research paper asks us to look again at the question: Can nonhuman animals commit suicide?

4 Ways to Achieve Meaning and Purpose in Your Life

What really makes happiness last? Having meaning and purpose in your life. Find out the four factors that make up meaning and purpose.

No, Sweden Does Not Have the Highest Suicide Rate

By Phil Zuckerman Ph.D. on December 29, 2017 in The Secular Life
Everyone things that Scandinavia leads the world in suicide. It's not true.
K. Ramsland

Notable Crimes of 2017

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on December 29, 2017 in Shadow Boxing
Looking back on some of the most shocking crimes of 2017.

Online Programs Confront Suicide in Indigenous Communities

By Robert T Muller Ph.D. on December 28, 2017 in Talking About Trauma
Can technology alleviate the leading cause of death among indigenous peoples?

Why Do We Misunderstand Depression?

By Jean Kim M.D. on December 28, 2017 in Culture Shrink
Depression is an illness that reflects the complex relationship between brain biology and life stressors. But coping with it is never as simple as "snapping out of it."

Why Uniqueness Is Not So Important for the Meaning of Life

Some people mistakenly believe that non-unique lives must be meaningless.
M. Farrell

The Subtle Art of Poisoning

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on December 22, 2017 in Shadow Boxing
The who, what, how, and why of poisoning explained for those who must investigate these killers and bring them to trial.

Trump Administration Bans Word "Transgender" from CDC Budget

By Jack Turban MD MHS on December 19, 2017 in Political Minds
The Trump administration prohibits the CDC from using the word transgender in budget documents. What does this mean for the future of transgender health?

The Ones the Wolves Pull Down

Proposed budget cuts for mental health programs conflict with the need for preventative treatment for high rates of suicide among farmers.

My Adolescent Came Out as Transgender, What's Next?

Wondering if your support of a transgender or nonbinary teen matters? Research says it is lifesaving.

Can Ketamine Help Suicidal Children?

By Jack Turban MD MHS on December 12, 2017 in Political Minds
Early research suggests that the psychedelic drug ketamine may help suicidal children, but are there risks?

Are We Taking Concussions Too Seriously?

By Harry Kerasidis M.D. on December 11, 2017 in Brain Trauma
Taking "a hard hit" is a sign of toughness. But is pulling yourself out of action still seen as "weakness?" Dr. Harry Kerasidis explains why concussions deserve our attention.

Is Gun Violence Contagious?

The concept of contagion might not be the best way of understanding gun violence in the U.S. Here's why this matters.

Climate Change Affecting Farmers' Mental Health

By Robert T Muller Ph.D. on December 07, 2017 in Talking About Trauma
As the temperatures increase, so do the mental health risks among farmers.

How Dangerous Is a Broken Heart?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on November 30, 2017 in Media Spotlight
Are people dealing with a romantic breakup more prone to depression and suicide? New research examines the short-term dangers of relationship loss.
used with permission from iclipart

This Japanese Serial Killer Targeted the Suicidal

By Joni E Johnston Psy.D. on November 30, 2017 in The Human Equation
When a Japanese serial killer picked his victims on the internet by responding to suicidal posts, was he targeting people who really wanted to die?

Pregnant Women Struggle with Managing Psychiatric Medication

By Robert T Muller Ph.D. on November 30, 2017 in Talking About Trauma
Mentally ill pregnant women encounter inadequate information and stigma.

Death In Our Hands?

The internet has become the modern piazza, but at what cost?

Death by Negligence

By Marc Nemiroff Ph. D. on November 24, 2017 in Where the Heart Is
What is psychology's responsibility in the gun control debate when it comes to an individual suicide?

Does Hormonal Contraception Raise Suicide Risk?

By Grant Hilary Brenner M.D. on November 22, 2017 in ExperiMentations
New research looks at how different factors related to hormonal contraception may affect risk of suicide, providing important information for clinicians and patients.
Frank J. Aleksandrowicz/wikimedia commons

Suicide Grievers Talk About Family and Friends

By Elizabeth Young on November 17, 2017 in Adaptations
“Does anyone else feel worried about the safety of a family member?”
Dakota Lynch/wikimedia commons

The Absent Presence for Suicide Grievers

By Elizabeth Young on November 16, 2017 in Adaptations
“I feel closer to them all,” Carla says.  “And I feel so sad to know they are gone from us.”
U.S. Fish and Wildlife/wikimedia commons

What Suicide Grievers Don't Say

By Elizabeth Young on November 11, 2017 in Adaptations
"There won't be another son," I say quietly.  There's a long silence, and then Jack says. "No. There won't be another son." 

Understanding Depression

By Clifford N Lazarus Ph.D. on November 10, 2017 in Think Well
Clinical or major depression is a potentially deadly illness that affects many millions of people at any given time. Here's how to gain a better of understanding of it.