DSM-V and the future of suicidology

In the United States, preparation of the next edition of the DSM has been accompanied by a number of criticisms, even from scholars instrumental in the delivery of its current edition.

Defining suicidology and the titling of suicidologist?

In January 1970, the US National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) held a historic conference on suicide and suicide prevention in Phoenix, Arizona. Fifty leaders and students in the field of suicide prevention convened for 3 days to “consider the state of suicide prevention in general with particular attention to establishing directions and priorities for […]

Suicidology as a social practice.

Suicide has long been the subject of philosophical, literary, theological and cultural–historical inquiry. But despite the diversity of disciplinary and methodological approaches that have been brought to bear in the study of suicide, we argue that the formal study of suicide, that is, suicidology, is characterized by intellectual, organizational and professional values that distinguish it […]

Autopsy of a suicidal mind.

Autopsy of a Suicidal Mind is a uniquely intensive psychological analysis of a suicidal mind. In this poignant scientific study, Edwin S. Shneidman, a founder of the field of suicidology, assembles an extraordinary cast of eight renowned experts to analyze the suicidal materials, including a ten-page suicide note, given to him by a distraught mother […]

Thinking about suicide: Contemplating and comprehending the urge to die.


Tracking a movement: U.S. milestones in suicide prevention.

Suicidology and suicide prevention are relatively new fields of study in the United States, but they have made significant progress since their beginnings. This study aimed to identify the most impactful theories in the history of science and suicidology and the most impactful events in the suicide prevention movement. These theories and events were identified […]

Suicide on my Mind, Prevention on my Agenda

In this column, the author writes about how he first became interested in suicide studies during his early years in medical school & his subsequent career as a suicidologist. He also discusses meeting Ed Shneidman & suicide prevention strategies. (18 refs.)

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 […]

Lives and Deaths: Biographical Notes on Selections From the Works of Edwin S. Shneidman

Shneidman is a father of contemporary suicidology. His work reflects the intensive study of lives lived & deaths, especially suicides, & is the mirror to his mind. His contributions can be represented by 5 categories: psychological assessment, logic, Melville & Murray, suicide, & death. His works on suicide can be further divided into 5 parts: […]

A Conversation With Edwin Shneidman

This article is a transcript of a conversation between the author & Edwin Shneidman on August 19, 2008. Recent advances in machine learning, particularly neurocognitive computing, have provided a fresh approach to the idea of using computers to analyze the language of the suicidal person. Here this notion & many others are discussed. (15 refs.) […]

Book Review-A Commonsense Book of Death: Reflections at Ninety of a Lifelong Thanatologist by E Shneidman

The reviewer states “this book should be read, especially by medical students & clinicians in their early phase of work, to provide them with knowledge of fundamental concerns about death & dying, & to prepare them to be empathic, skillful, & compassionate in thanatological interactions with patients.”.

The Stengel Research Award: the man

The Ringel Service Award: the man

Lives and Deaths: a Tribute to Edwin S. Shneidman

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

How I Read


David Lester: a Prodigious Researcher in Suicidology

Appendix: the Philosophy of Suicide as Understood by Some of the Experienced World Suicidologists (IN: Suicide Risk and Protective Factors in the New Millennium…)

For the complete proceedings, please see SIEC #2004-1401

Suicide on my Mind, Britannica on my Table

This essay discusses the impact of the ‘Encyclopedia Britannica’ on the author’s personal life & career as a suicidologist, including his own contribution on “suicide” to the 1973 edition of the encyclopedia. He then uses the fourteen different articles about suicide which have appeared in the encyclopedia since its first publication to review the controversies […]

The Anatomy of Suicidology: a Psychological Science Perspective on the Status of Suicide Research

In this article the author argues the importance of theoretical grounding for research into suicidal behaviors from the perspective of psychological science. He provides examples of this perspective from his own work, & discusses their implications for future research in the field. (49 refs)

Book Review-Fixin’ to die: a Compassionate Guide to Commiting Suicide or Staying Alive by D Lester

The author reviews “Fixin’ to Die: A Compassionate Guide to Committing Suicide or Staying Alive,” by David Lester. He examines the contradictions apparent in the authoring of a ‘how-to’ guide by a suiciologist previously devoted to prevention, by exploring the effects of a personal crisis on Lester’s position. Though he finds the book challenging, the […]

Enrico Morselli: a Pioneer in Suicide Research

This column discusses the life & work of Enrico Morselli, a late nineteenth-century Italian psychiatrist, who wrote “Suicide. An Essay on Comparative Moral Statistics.” The theoretical basis of this pioneering work & its impact are described. (11 refs)

Should we Define a ‘Suicidologist?’: a Provocative Consideration

This article discusses inherent issues in labeling someone a suicidologist. Among these issues are questions of whether standardized training, practical experience, accreditation from an university, or peer recognition is necessary to assert the status of a suicidologist. This need for labeling is presented by the author as a response from the courts & general society […]

Colleagues Celebrate Shneidman’s Work in Festschrift Book Review – Suicidology: Essays in Honor of Edwin S. Shneidman, ed. by A A Leenaars et al.

This review discusses several contributions that Shneidman has made to suicide research in North America. It also summarizes some authors who have contributed their papers to this book. While the two volume text is reviewed favorably, the author notes that several omissions of important research areas(such as elderly suicide & neurobiological studies) preclude it from […]