The environment and suicide: Why suicidologists should support climate change policies

When suicidologists consider how the environment may impact suicide, they typically focus on the social and economic environment and the interpersonal environment. For the former, Lester and Yang (1997) documented how factors such as the business cycle might impact suicide rates while, many years ago, Platt (1984) showed that unemployment increased suicide rates. As for the interpersonal environment, in […]

A question of justice: Critically researching suicide with Indigenous studies of affect, biosociality, and land-based relations

This paper considers how Indigenous studies can inform the evolution of critical research on suicide. Aligned with critiques of mainstream suicidology, these methodological approaches provide a roadmap for structural analysis of complex systems and logics in which the phenomenon of suicide emerges. Moving beyond mere naming of social determinants of suicide and consistent with calls […]

A question of justice: Critically researching suicide with Indigenous studies of affect, biosociality, and land-based relations

This paper considers how Indigenous studies can inform the evolution of critical research on suicide. Aligned with critiques of mainstream suicidology, these methodological approaches provide a roadmap for structural analysis of complex systems and logics in which the phenomenon of suicide emerges. Moving beyond mere naming of social determinants of suicide and consistent with calls […]

Characteristics and precipitating circumstances of suicide among children aged 5 to 11 years in the United States, 2013-2017

Objective  To examine characteristics and precipitating circumstances of childhood suicide. Design, Setting, and Participants  This qualitative study examined restricted-use data from the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) regarding child suicide decedents aged 5 to 11 years in the US from 2013 to 2017. The NVDRS is a state-based surveillance system that collects data on suicide and […]

Green space and suicide mortality in Japan: An ecological study

Although numerous studies have investigated the effect of green space on mental health, as yet, little is known about the association between green space and suicide. To address this deficit, we conducted the first Japan-wide study of the relationship between green space and suicide mortality. Results from spatial analyses of municipality-level panel data for the […]

Suicide and the agent-host-environment triad: Leveraging surveillance sources to inform prevention

Suicide in the US has increased in the last decade, across virtually every age and demographic group. Parallel increases have occurred in non-fatal self-harm as well. Research on suicide across the world has consistently demonstrated that suicide shares many properties with a communicable disease, including person-to-person transmission and point-source outbreaks. This essay illustrates the communicable […]

The role of psychiatric symptoms and environmental vulnerability factors in explaining the relationship between child maltreatment and suicidality: A prospective investigation

Background Childhood maltreatment has been associated with suicide thoughts and attempts; however, few longitudinal studies have assessed risk of suicidality into adulthood. Fewer have examined potential mediators (psychiatric symptoms and environmental vulnerability factors). Methods Prospective cohort design. Children with documented cases of maltreatment (N = 495, ages 0–11) were matched with non-maltreated children (N = 395) and followed up […]

Neighborhood characteristics and adolescent suicidal behavior: Evidence from a population-based study

Research on the relationship between neighborhood characteristics and adolescents’ risk of nonfatal suicidal behavior is scarce. We used California survey data to examine associations between measures of objective neighborhood quality (levels of violent crime, property crime, and socioeconomic disadvantage) and subjective neighborhood quality (perceptions of neighborhood safety and social cohesion) and adolescents’ self‐reported suicidal ideation […]

Genetic and environmental pathways to suicidal behavior: Reflections of a genetic epidemiologist.

This paper presents a tentative typology of genetic and environmental pathways to suicidal behavior. Ten pathways are proposed and briefly illustrated: (i) direct effects from psychiatric disorders; (ii) direct effects from personality; (iii) direct effects of early adversity; (iv) direct effects of current adversity; (v) indirect effects of genes on selection into adversity (gene-environment correlation); […]

The effect of greening vacant land on mental health of community-dwelling adults: A cluster randomized trial.

Objective  To evaluate whether interventions to green vacant urban land can improve self-reported mental health. Design, Setting, and Participants  This citywide cluster randomized trial examined 442 community-dwelling sampled adults living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, within 110 vacant lot clusters randomly assigned to 3 study groups. Participants were followed up for 18 months preintervention and postintervention. This trial was […]

Association between completed suicide and environmental temperature in a Mexican population, using the Knowledge Discovery in Database approach.

Background and objective Suicide is a worldwide health problem and climatological characteristics have been associated with suicide behavior. However, approaches such as the Knowledge Discovery in Database are not frequently used to search for an association between climatological characteristics and suicide. The aim of the present study was to assess the association between weather data […]

The impact of ambient air pollution on suicide mortality: A cross-over study in Guangzhou, China.

Although the effects of social and individual risk factors of suicide have been widely investigated, evidence of environmental effects of exposure to air pollution is scarce. We investigated the effects of ambient air pollution on suicide mortality in Guangzhou, China during 2003−2012. Suicide risk was positively associated with ambient air pollution levels. This finding would […]

Gene environment interaction studies in depression and suicidal behavior: An update.

Highlights: Evidence supports both heritable and environmental influences in depression and suicidal behavior risk. GeneÐenvironment interaction (G _ E) studies may be useful to investigate the impact of both sources of risk. So far, within this context, only few results have been obtained in both depression and suicidal behavior, though some genes seems reliably moderating […]

Parental schizophrenia and increased offspring suicide risk: exploring the causal hypothesis using cousin comparisons.

Background: Little is known about suicide risk among offspring of parents hospitalized for schizophrenia and the mechanisms behind this association. Method: We applied a nested case-control design based on linkage of Swedish population-based registers. Among 12- to 30-year-old offspring, we identified 68 318 offspring with suicidal behavior (attempted and completed suicide) and their parents. Five […]

Commentary: When the Cameras Disappear: Acute Stress and Suicide

In this commentary, Khan comments on the study of Gradus et al on acute stress & suicide. Khan makes 3 comments on the study, saying these could be areas for future study: the nature of acute stress; individual resiliency factors; & whether or not individuals who are suicidal immediately following acute stress are at higher […]

The Epigenetics of Suicide: Explaining the Biological Effects of Early Life Environmental Adversity

A number of recent studies have shown epigenetic alterations associated with suicidal behaviour. These epigenetic mechanisms, which alter gene expression via alternative mechanisms to the coding DNA sequence, result from environmental effects acting on the genome. The present review briefly describes the main epigenetic mechanisms involved in the regulation of gene expression & discusses recent […]

Positive Association Between Altitude and Suicide in 2584 U.S. Counties

This retrospective study examines 20 years of American county-specific mortality date, 1979-1998. County altitude was obtained from the US Geological Survey. Although there was a negative correlation between county altitude & all-cause mortality, there was a strong positive correlation between altitude & suicide rate. Mean altitude differed in the 50 counties with the highest suicide […]

Effect of the 2004 Tsunami on Suicide Rates in Sri Lanka

The effect of the 2004 tsuanmi on suicide rates in Sri Lanka were investigated. The number of suicides in the 2 years prior & 1 year after the tsunami were examined. Data from districts affected by the tsunami were compared with those from unaffected districts. No significant differences were found between the number of suicides […]

Long-Term Suicide Mortality Rates Decrease in men and Increase in Women After the Niigata-Chuetsu Earthquake in Japan

This study examined whether the 2004 Niigata-Chuetsu earthquake in Japan affected long-term mortality from suicide. A comparative study was conducted of suicide rates during the 5-year period preceding & the 3-year period following the earthquake in the disaster area & a control area. In men, baseline suicide mortality rates were 48.4 per 100,000 person-years in […]

The Effect of Earthquakes on the Risk of Suicide

This study evaluated whether a traumatic experience such as an earthquake has any effect on the probability of suicide, especially in those who seem psychologically healthy. Prevention & support parameters are evaluated. Two groups of 35 people each were compared regarding their probability of dying by suicide. One group had experienced an earthquake & the […]

Tree Pollen Peaks are Associated With Increased Nonviolent Suicide in Women

In this letter to the editor, the authors report on a study in which they compared the suicide rates before, during, & after periods of peak atmospheric pollen. During the treee allergy season there was a two-fold increase in the rate of nonviolent suicides among younger females in the peak-pollen period compared with the prepollen […]

Cross-National Analysis of the Associations Between Traumatic Events and Suicidal Behavior: Findings From the WHO World Mental Health Surveys

Data on trauma exposure & subsequent first onset of suicidal behaviour were collected via structured interviews conducted in the households of 102,245 respondents in 21 countries. Bivariate & multivariate survival models tested the relationship between the type & number of traumatic events & subsequent suicidal behaviour. Sexual & interpersonal violence showed the strongest effects. A […]

Higher Suicide Death Rate in Rocky Mountain States and a Correlation to Altitude

In 2002, the author & colleagues presented limited data that suggested a higher suicide death rate in the Rocky Mountain states (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, & Wyoming). This letter to the editor expands on that study, covering data from 1979-2006 as well as addressing gender, race, & socioeconomic factors. A correlation […]