Suicide Prevention

Editor’s Note - September 2014

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Nearly 30,000 Americans commit suicide every year, which translates to 1 suicide every 13.3 minutes.1 Note: There is 1 suicide for every 25 attempted suicides.

About two-thirds of people who complete suicide are diagnosed as depressed at the time of their death, which makes untreated or undiagnosed depression the leading cause of suicide. Suicides among males is 4 times higher than females, though females are 3 times more likely to have suicidal thoughts.2 

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among people age 15 to 24; in this age group, suicide accounts for 20% of all deaths annually. 

As the nation continues to mourn the loss of actor Robin Williams, the topic of suicide has been dominating national headlines as never before.  

In the spirit of keeping this conversation going, Consultant360 recently highlighted several mental health studies:

Simple blood test to predict suicide. Researchers have identified a chemical alteration in a human gene that can indicate a person’s response to stress and anxiety, and therefore risk of suicidal thoughts or attempts.3

• Incidence of suicide decreases with social integration. Men with more social connections, such as marriage and religious affiliations, are less at risk of
committing suicide.4

Adults with Asperger syndrome at risk for suicidal thoughts. A large, one-of-kind clinical study found that 66% of adults with Asperger syndrome likely experience thoughts of suicide.5

• ADHD tied to increased suicide risk. Researchers found that people with ADHD and their relatives are at heighted risk of both attempted and completed suicide; genetic factors appear to be strongly involved.6

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Pooja Shah

Managing Editor, Consultant and Consultant360


1.CDC. Fatal Injury Reports 1999-2011. Accessed August 25, 2014.

2.Crosby AE, Han B, Ortega LA, et al. Suicidal thoughts and behaviors among adults aged ≥18 years—United States, 2008-2009. MMWR Surveillance Summaries. 2011;60(SS-13). Available at Accessed August 25, 2014.

3.Potts M. Simple blood test predicts suicide with 80% accuracy. Consultant360. 2014 Aug 1. Accessed August 25, 2014.

4.McGraw M. Incidence of suicide decreases with social integration. Consultant360. 2014 July 25. Accessed August 25, 2014.

5.Canales M. 66% of adults with Asperger Syndrome have suicidal thoughts. Consultant360. 2014 July 25. Accessed August 25, 2014.

6.Douglas D. ADHD tied to increased suicide risk in probands and relatives. Consultant360. 2014 July 2. Accessed August 25, 2014.