Year: 2023 Source: Archives of Suicide Research. (2023). 27(3), 896-904. DOI: 10.1080/13811118.2022.2083536 SIEC No: 20231673

Anecdotal and theoretical work suggests blink rate as an indicator of imminent suicide risk. We sought to empirically examine whether suicide decedents displayed a reduced blink rate in goodbye videos filmed before death, compared to several control groups. Independent raters coded blink rates from videos of 34 suicide decedents and four comparison groups: “mundane” product review, non-suicidal arousal, non-suicidal depression, and non-imminent risk of suicidal ideation. Mean blink rate was lower in the suicide decedent group relative to all comparison groups (ps < .001), except the depressed (p = .976) and suicidal ideation (p = .393) groups. Findings indicate blink rate may be reduced among individuals at imminent risk for suicide, exhibiting clinically-significant depressive symptoms, or experiencing suicidal ideation.