Year: 2023 Source: Crisis. (2016). 37(2), 83–87. DOI: 10.1027/0227-5910/a000419 SIEC No: 20231531
There is no internationally agreed-upon set of terms, definitions, or classifications for the range of thoughts, communications, and behaviors that are related to self-injurious behaviors, with or without the intent to die. Nor is there an agreed taxonomy that encompasses the full spectrum of what are often clinically defined as suicide-related behaviors. There also are no clearly identifiable criteria or procedures for determining which data elements could plausibly be collected by national, state, and local surveillance systems, or which ones have the highest priority. Some institutions participating in a surveillance system may be able to collect only a subset of data elements. Definitions of terms might need to be operationalized (i.e., made measurable) in different ways, depending on the source of the data. There is a strong need for a cross-cultural, internationally applicable nomenclature for suicidal behaviors. Without agreed-upon terms, uniform definitions, and classification systems it will be virtually impossible to compare and contrast data between and among nations. To this aim, the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) has approved the formation of a Task Force on Nomenclature and Classification. The task force will try to generate an international nomenclature of all terms within the area of suicidology, inclusive of death wishes, assisted suicide, and bereavement. The aim is to obtain an international standardization of terminologies that may render research and surveillance more comparable across the globe. Our plan consists of ten steps. From this work, open to all contributors with knowledge (or experience) of these challenges, we hope to obtain a number of potential benefits.