Edwin S. Shneidman on Suicide

Edwin S. Shneidman was a father of contemporary suicidology & his work reflected an intensive study of suicide. His contributions are some of the essential studies in the field. The works can be divided into 5 parts: definitional & theoretical; suicide notes; administrative & programmatic; clinical & community; & psychological & postvention. This paper explicates […]

The Social Worker in a Suicide Prevention Center (IN: Crisis Intervention: Selected Readings, ed. by H J Parad)

The LASPC: the Early Years

Published in “Back to the Future: Refocusing the Image of Suicide,” ed. by J L McIntosh

The Suicide Prevention Center

This article discusses how the institution of the Suicide Prevention Centre (SPC) came to be. The author seeks to indicate what the goals of the SPC are, & how it attempts to acheive these aims. He also describes the operations & functions of the SPC. Clinical aspects, community aspects, & research aspects of SPCs are […]

From the Los Angeles Suicide Prevention Center to the Crisis Center

This presentation notes that one activity that distinguished the Los Angeles Suicide Prevention Center was the presence of invited fellows. They interacted with clinical staff & stimulated serious discussion about human self destruction. The early 1960s witnessed many resulting contributions from these fellows to the developing discipline of suicidology. The guiding principle of this aspect […]

The Suicide Prevention Center: Concepts and Clinical Functions (IN: The Psychology of Suicide: a Clinician’s Guide to Evaluation and Treatment, edited by E S Shneidman, N L Farberow & R E Litman)

The first part of this chapter briefly reviews the changes & the current practices at the Los Angeles Suicide Prevention Center. The second part focuses on the clinical functioning of a telephone crisis service, presenting examples of the types of people who use such a service & the demands that are made upon the centre […]

The Los Angeles Survivors’ After-Suicide Program (IN: The Psychology of Suicide: a Clinician’s Guide to Evaluation and Treatment, edited by E S Shneidman, N L Farberow & R E Litman)

This chapter reports on a study of the Survivors’ After-Suicide Program held at the Los Angeles Suicide Prevention Centre. 60 program participants were compared to 22 controls. Comparison of the ratings of levels of feelings for the 2 groups within the first 4 weeks after death indicated no significant differences between the groups. Feelings of […]

Assessment in Absentia: the Value of the Psychological Autopsy Method for Studying Antecedents of Suicide and Predicting Future Suicides (IN: Assessment & Prediction of Suicide, ed. by Maris et al)

This chapter provides an historical view of psychological autopsies & highlights some of the findings generated by this form of research, paying particular attention to significant findings, methodological innovations, alternative definitions of the psychological autopsy method, & implications for predicting or averting suicides. It recommends standards & criteria for future psychological autopsy studies & briefly […]

Suicide (IN: Primary Prevention of Psychiatric Disorders: The Clarence M. Hincks Memorial Lectures, 1967 by C A Roberts)

500 Psychological Autopsies

A Suicidal Death-Prediction Scale

A suicide prediction scale was developed by comparing surviving 465 currently suicidal persons who remain alive & 52 currently sucidal who go on to commit, selected from Los Angeles Suicide Prevention Center files. Tabulations were derived as to the breakdown of age & sex subgroups. There was no significant difference in the age/sex distribution of […]

Suicide and Pregnancy

An exploratory study was conducted of all pregnant women between the ages of 15 & 45 who committed suicide in LA County during the years 1968-69 (n=12). Relatives of 7 victims were interviewed. A matched group of 7 women who had given birth was used for comparison. The PPS was used to collect data. Findings […]

Drop-in Groups as Crisis and Post Crisis Therapy in Suicide Prevention Centers

Describes an open-ended Drop-In Group formed to meet the needs some crisis line callers have for caring, concern, & companionship. The characteristics of the group, the patients referrred to the group, effect on the suicide prevention center, therapist responsibilities, & evaluation data are outlined. (LH)

Group Psychotherapy in the Los Angeles Suicide Prevention Center

Provides a brief account of 2 long-term psychotherapy groups initiated by the L.A. Suicide Prevention Center. 2 problems brought into focus by the group therapy program, changes in the philosophy & objectives of the center & labelling issues, are also discussed. (LH)

Suicide Prevention (IN: Suicide in America, ed. by Herbert Hendin)

Discusses the historical development of suicide prevention centres, most of which use a combination of telephone & referral services to aid those in crisis. Standards of care & evaluation of effectiveness are reviewed & the author suggests that identification of high risk cases among attempted suicides may be more manageable & more fruitful than trying […]

General Principles of Assessment (IN: Lifelines, ed. by E Bassuk ; S Schoonover)

This chapter contains samples of several suicide rating scales for assessment of ideation, hopelessness, intent, risk-rescue and the Los Angeles Suicide Prevention Center scale.

Beyond Emergency Services

The objectives, rationale & operation of an inexpensive, anti-suicide program for high-risk, chronically suicidal persons is described. The Continuing Relationship Maintenance Program is based on advances in theory & practice, including new developments in the training & employment of paraprofessionals & volunteers. This experimental program is being carried out within a methodological framework designed to […]

The Suicidal Drop-Ins

The first drop-in clinic for potential suicides was organized at the LASPC Norman Farberow. The accepting attitude & offer of immediate, supportive group therapy has been successful in preventing emotional deterioration in most of the clients. (NBB)

Suicide: Issues of Prevention, Intervention, and Facilitation

A proposed suicide intervention model is contrasted with the goals & methods of existing suicide prevention & crisis counseling services. The issues of an appropriate death, premature death, an ambivalent attraction to death, & continued living in the face of chronically low life satisfaction are discussed.

Suicide Prevention Services Around the Clock

A Two-Year Follow-Up of Suicide Prevention Center Patients

A random sample of Los Angeles Suicide Prevention Center patients was selected for follow-up about two years after their prior contact. Of 184 patients located & interviewed, 16 had died & 9 had committed suicide. The deaths were studied in depth by interviewing survivors (by means of a psychological autopsy). Results uncovered 2 apparent suicides […]

Cries for Help

This 2-column article from the August 17, 1962 issue of Time briefly describes the Los Angeles Suicide Prevention Center, which was founded by Drs. Edwin S. Schneidman & Norman L. Farberow in 1958, & explores some general truths about suicide. (NBB)

Suicide: Doesn’t Everybody?

After a brief review of past suicide research, indirect suicide is discussed in terms of the premise that self-destruction can vary on several continua at the same time. Two variables–intention & chronology of impact–encompass most behavior classified as self-destructive. Explanations are presented of a few variables examined in experiments conducted to define similarities, differences & […]