Objective: Many people who die by suicide experience major depressive disorder (MDD), but most people with MDD do not die by suicide and many do not report thoughts of death or suicide. This cross-sectional study examined the potential of personal growth initiative (PGI) skills to protect against suicide ideation among adult psychotherapy outpatients.
Method: Adult outpatients (N = 178) completed measures of suicide ideation severity (SI), depressive symptom severity (DEP), and PGI skills (PGI) at intake.
Results: Although higher DEP significantly correlated with higher suicide ideation, a significant DEP × PGI interaction, indicated significant positive relations between DEP and SI only when PGI was at or below the mean for this sample.
Conclusions: PGI skills may function as a protective factor against the development of suicide ideation even in the presence of severe depressive symptoms. This suggests that training PGI skills might prevent or reduce suicide ideation among depressed patients.