Suicide risk assessment and prevention tools in the UK: Current landscape and future directions

Suicide is a major global public health problem, with profound implications for individuals, families, and communities. In the United Kingdom (UK), despite efforts to detect and manage suicidal ideas, suicide rates persist, especially among middle-aged men and women, particularly those aged 45 to 54 years. Recent global challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, […]

On the biopolitics of suicide: Against a discourse of public health

This essay critically examines the biopoliticization of suicide, challenging its framing as a public health issue which obscures its cultural and philosophical significance. Drawing from Michel Foucault’s theories of biopower, this essay argues that suicide is externalized, massified, and medicalized under the discourse of  public health, leading to its subjugation to biopower’s rhetoric. At the […]

Flawed reports can harm: The case of supervised consumption services in Alberta

Supervised consumption services have been scaled up within Canada and internationally as an ethical imperative in the context of a public health emergency. A large body of peer-reviewed evidence demonstrates that these services prevent poisoning deaths, reduce infectious disease transmission risk behaviour, and facilitate clients’ connections to other health and social services. In 2019, the […]

Psychiatrist density and risk of suicide: A multilevel case-control study based on a national sample in Taiwan

Aim No previous studies, to our knowledge, have investigated the association between psychiatrist density and suicide, accounting for individual- and area-level characteristics. Methods We investigated all suicide cases in 2007-2017 identified from the national cause-of-death data files, with each suicide case matched to 10 controls by age and sex and each suicide case/control assigned to […]

The potential public health relevance of social isolation and loneliness: Prevalence, epidemiology, and risk factors

Our social relationships are widely considered crucial to emotional well-being; however, the possibility that social connection may be a biological need, vital to physical well-being and even survival, is commonly unrecognized. Still, extreme examples clearly illustrate infants in custodial care who lack human contact fail to thrive and often die (UNICEF, 1997), and social isolation […]

Tackling the increasing public health impact of firearms: A call to action

The incidence of gun violence in Canada has been increasing with an 81% rise in violent offenses involving guns since 2009. One in three homicides now firearm related. 1The issue extends beyond what is publicized in the news with the RCMP reporting 80% of firearm deaths in Canada being attributed to suicide. 2 Consider the […]

Is secondhand smoke associated with mental health issues? A narrative review of the evidence and policy implications

Secondhand smoke (SHS) is a well-established cause of lung cancer, respiratory disease, heart disease and developmental issues in children, with an overwhelming evidence base spanning over four decades. In this narrative review, we describe studies which have also linked self-reported or cotinine-assessed SHS exposure in the home, workplace and other settings to mental health disorders […]

U.S. gun violence in 2021: An accounting of a public health crisis

Gun violence is an ongoing public health crisis in the United States that impacts the health and wellbeing of all of us. In 2020, during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. experienced an unprecedented spike in gun homicides. Many believed that this spike would be short-lived; levels of gun violence would subside […]

Assessing vulnerability to surges in suicide-related tweets using Japan census data: Case-only study

Background: As the use of social media becomes more widespread, its impact on health cannot be ignored. However, limited research has been conducted on the relationship between social media and suicide. Little is known about individuals’ vulnerable to suicide, especially when social media suicide information is extremely prevalent. Objective: This study aims to identify the […]

Unleashing the potential of systems modeling and simulation in supporting policy-making and resource allocation for suicide prevention

Over 700,000 people die by suicide every year (World Health Organization [WHO], 2021). Despite increasing investment in suicide prevention activities from many governments worldwide, rates have continued to rise over the past 30 years (Yip et al., 2022). This is because suicide is complex and addressing this complexity is our Achilles heel. There are several […]

Population- and community-based interventions to prevent suicide: A systematic review

Background: Suicide is estimated to account for 1.4% of deaths worldwide, making it among the leading causes of premature death. Public health approaches to reduce suicide have the potential to reach individuals across the spectrum of suicide risk. Aims: To review the effectiveness of newer community-based or population-level suicide prevention strategies. Methods: We conducted a systematic review of literature published […]

Challenges and concerns in assisting indigenous people with suicide attempts

There has been an alarming rise in suicide attempts among indigenous people in Brazil leading to national concerns about the provision of psychosocial care and professional support. In this study, we make an attempt to understand the  perspectives of professionals in assisting indigenous people from a specific group, the Iny, and identify the specific challenges […]

Is suicide a mental health, public health, or societal problem?

Purpose of review: Suicide is a complex phenomenon wherein multiple parameters intersect: psychological, medical, moral, religious, social, economic and political. Over the decades, however, it has been increasingly and almost exclusively come to be viewed through a biomedical prism. Colonized thus by health and more specifically mental health professionals, alternative and complimentary approaches have been excluded […]

Health, United States, 2020–2021: Annual perspective

The Health, United States program provides a wide array of trends in health statistics to policymakers, public health professionals, and the public. As part of the program’s legislative mandate, Health, United States is  charged with presenting a comprehensive set of health topics, and examining trends in health status and determinants, healthcare utilization, healthcare resources, and […]

Evaluating artificial intelligence responses to public health questions

Artificial intelligence (AI) assistants have the potential to transform public health by offering accurate and actionable information to the general public. Unlike web-based knowledge resources (eg, Google Search) that return numerous results and require the searcher to synthesize information, AI assistants are designed to receive complex questions and provide specific answers. However, AI assistants often […]

Closing the gap between screening and depression prevention: A qualitative stdy on barriers and facilitators from the perspective of public health professionals in a school-based prevention approach

Background: The prevalence of depression has increased among adolescents in western countries. Prevention is needed to reduce the number of adolescents who experience depression and to avoid negative consequences, including suicide. Several preventive interventions are found to be promising, especially multi-modal approaches, for example combining screening and preventive intervention. However, an important bottleneck arises during the […]

A public health, whole-of-government approach to national suicide prevention strategies

Many countries have national suicide prevention strategies, all of which aim to reduce suicide and many of which also address self-harm more generally (World Health Organization, 2018). In this editorial, we argue that national  strategies could be strengthened through an increased focus on the social determinants associated with suicide and self-harm. We present a public […]

A standard protocol for the clinical management of suicidal thoughts and behavior: Implications for the suicide prevention narrative

The last several decades have witnessed growing and converging evidence from randomized controlled trials (RCT’s) that an identifiable set of simple clinical management strategies are effective for those at risk for suicidal thinking and/or suicide attempts. The current article offers a brief review of clinical strategies supported by RCT’s targeting suicidality as “commonalities of treatments […]

Statewide assessment of North Carolina nurse practitioners’ knowledge of and attitudes toward suicide awareness and prevention: Protocol for a statewide mixed methods study

Background: Suicide is a major public health problem, which affects people of all ages and ethnicities. Despite being preventable, the rates of suicide have steadily climbed (more than a third) over the past 2 decades. Objective: Nurse practitioners (NPs) must be responsible for recognizing suicide risk and providing appropriate treatment referrals in addition to having […]

Proceedings from the Second Medical Summit on Firearm Injury Prevention, 2022: Creating a sustainable healthcare coalition to advance a multidisciplinary public health approach

In 2019, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) hosted the inaugural Medical Summit on Firearm Injury Prevention. The Summit convened representatives from 44 major medical, public health, and injury prevention professional organizations with a goal to develop consensus on collaborative opportunities to address the growing problem of firearm-related injury and death in the US.1 The […]

Youth perspectives on barriers and opportunities for the development of a peer support model to promote mental health and prevent suicide

Suicide prevention is a public health priority. The purpose of this study was to elicit and document the perspectives of youth (ages 15–24) on the development of a peer support model for mental health promotion and suicide prevention for youth in small communities in western Canada. A qualitative descriptive approach informed by a socioecological framework […]

Suicide ideation in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic

Introduction: Many Canadians report decreased mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, and concerns have been raised about possible increases in suicide. This study investigates the pandemic’s potential impact on adults’ suicide ideation. Methods: We compared self-reported suicide ideation in 2020 versus 2019 by analyzing data from the Survey on COVID-19 and Mental Health (11 September to 4 […]

Secular trends of suicide in the city of Sao Paulo, 1904-2017

Background: Few reports from developing countries have described long-term trends in suicide. Aims: To investigate the age-, sex-, and method-specific trends in suicide over the period 1904–2017 in São Paulo. Method: Mortality data were obtained from SEADE, DATASUS, and PRO-AIM. Results: Suicide peaked in the mid-1910s and mid-1950s, being higher among men. There was an upward trend from the 1920s for men […]