CDC Suicide Prevention Website

The suicide prevention webpage of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) includes a variety of data, reports, awareness materials, and other resources related to suicide and suicide prevention. The CDC also has a public inquiry line at (404) 639-3534.

CDC Wisqars

The latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on completed suicides and self-inflicted injuries come from their Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS). WISQARS is an interactive, online database that provides statistics related to fatal and nonfatal injury, and is the most authoritative source of suicide-related data. Because it takes time to collect and ensure the accuracy of the data, the data found there may be from two to three years earlier.

World Health Organization

The WHO offers statistical information on suicide in the United States and other countries.

Clinical Information


The U.S. National Institutes of Health maintains MedlinePlus as a source of medical information for the public. MedlinePlus’s suicide health topics page includes overviews, current suicide information, research, and reference links. The page includes information about treatments and medications, definition of common terms, and medical videos and illustrations. You will also find links there to the latest research, and to information about clinical trials.

Standard Speeches

Suicide Prevention: Saving Lives One Community at a Time

Suicide Prevention: Saving Lives One Community at a Time is a PowerPoint presentation with talking points.

The presentation provides an overview of the prevalence and risk factors for depression and suicide, dispels popular myths, and highlights AFSP's suicide prevention research and education programs. It includes practical advice for those who know someone who may be contemplating suicide.


Suicide and the Elderly

Suicide and the Elderly is a PowerPoint presentation with talking points that addresses suicide among older adults.

The presentation identifies key risk factors for suicide in the elderly, including depression and other psychiatric illnesses, and discusses treatment options.



Books About Suicide

Reducing Suicide: A National Imperative
A thorough overview of the causes, prevention, and treatment of suicide in the United States written by an expert panel convened by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), an independent, nonprofit organization that works outside of government to provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decision makers and the public. Available for purchase, or for free downloaded from the National Academies Press website.

Goldsmith S.K., Pellmar T.C., Kleinman A.M., & Bunney W.E. (Eds.). (2002). Reducing Suicide: A National Imperative. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Suicide Assessment and Management, 2nd Edition (2012)
Expanded edition from the previous one, following the sequence of events from assessment, through treatment, to prevention and the aftermath of suicide. Available from major online retailers and at

Simon R.I. & Hales R.E. (Eds.) (2012). The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Suicde Assessment and Management (2nd ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.

The Final Months: A Study of the Lives of 134 Persons Who Committed Suicide
A clinical study attempting to uncover the events that preceded 134 suicide deaths in St. Louis over a single year. The book shares information and observations by the survivors of those who died by suicide. Available online.

Robins E. (1981). The Final Months: A Study of the Lives of 134 Persons Who Committed Suicide. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide
Written by Kay Redfield Jamison, a professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, this book addresses the history, causes, treatment, and prevention of suicide, often through the lens of the author’s own struggle with mood disorder and suicide. Available  online and in bookstores.

Jamison K.R. (2000). Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf.

Books about Psychiatry and Mental Illness

Demystifying Psychiatry
Designed for non-medical audiences, including patients and their families, this book offers a straightforward explanation of psychiatry and the way in which it is practiced, largely free of jargon or technical terms. The book emphasizes the importance of the doctor-patient relationship and of taking a pragmatic approach to clinical care. Available online and in bookstores.

Zorumski C.F. & Rubin E. (2009). Demystifying Psychiatry. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Treating and Preventing Adolescent Mental Health Disorders
A groundbreaking survey of treatments and preventions written by a distinguished group of psychiatrists and clinical psychologists. The book addresses stigma and the role of primary-care providers in diagnosing and treating adolescent mental health problems. Available online, in bookstores, and available to read for free at the Oxford University Press website.

Evans D.L. Foa E.B. Gur R.E. Hendin H. O'Brien C.P. Seligman M.E. & Walsh B.T. (Eds.). (2005). Treating and Preventing Adolescent Mental Health Disorders. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

The Medical Basis of Psychiatry, 3rd Edition
Meant to provide the busy clinician, psychiatric resident, and medical student with current information on the etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of psychiatric disorders. Focuses on the biologic and medical aspects of psychiatry. Available online and in bookstores.

Fatemi, S.H. & Clayton P.J. (Eds.) (2008). The Medical Basis of Psychiatry (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Humana Press.

Ministry with Persons with Mental Illness and Their Families
Aninterdisciplinary, collaborative effort by 18 psychiatrists and pastoral theologians to provide accurate information on the medical aspects of mental illness. The book seeks to interpret these illnesses from a faith perspective and makes suggestions about effective ministry. Available online and in bookstores.

Albers R.H., Meller W.H. & Thurber S.D. (Eds.). (2012). Ministry with Persons with Mental Illness and Their Families. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.

Unholy Ghost: Writers on Depression
Edited by Nell Casey, and with an introduction by Kay Redfield Jamison, this collection of essays brings together more than twenty authors from Ann Beattie to William Styron to speak vividly and openly about depression and provide a complete portrait of the illness. Available online and in bookstores.

Casey N. (Ed.). (2001). Unholy Ghost: Writers on Depression. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

References for Key Research Findings

Relationship between Mental Disorders and Completed Suicide

Bradvik L., Mattisson C., Bogren M. & Nettelbladt P. (2010). Mental disorders in suicide and undetermined death in the Lundby Study. The contribution of severe depression and alcohol dependence. Archives of Suicide Research, 14(3), 266–75.

Busch K.A., Fawcett J. & Jacobs D.J. (2003). Clinical correlates of inpatient suicide. J Clin Psychiatry 64(1): 14–19.

Cavanagh J.T.O., Carson A.J., et al. (2003). Psychological autopsy studies of suicide: a systematic review. Psychological Medicine, 33(3): 395–405.

Coryell W. & Young E.A. (2005). Clinical predictors of suicide in primary major depressive disorder. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 66(4): 412–7.

Dorpat T.L. & Ripley H.S. (1960). A study of suicide in the Seattle area. Compr Psychiatry, (1): 349–359.

Fawcett J., Scheftner W.A., Fogg L., Clark D.C., Young M.A., Hedeker D., et al. (1990). Time-related predictors of suicide in major affective disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 147(9): 1189–94.

Harris E.C. & Barraclough B. (1997). Suicide as an outcome for mental disorders. A meta-analysis. British Journal of Psychiatry, 170: 205–28.

Kolves K., Varnik A., Tooding L. & Wasserman D. (2006). The role of alcohol in suicide: A case-control psychological autopsy study. Psychological Medicine: 1–8.

Mann J.J. & Currier D. (2012). Neurobiology of Suicidal Behavior. In R. Simon & R. Hales (Eds.). The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Suicide Assessment and Management, 2nd Ed (pp. 481–500). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.

Mann J.J., Apter A., Bertolote J., Beautrais A., Currier D., Haas A., et al. (2005). Suicide prevention strategies: a systematic review. JAMA, 294(16): 2064-74. Robins E., Murphy G.E., Wilkinson R.H., Gassner S. & Kayes J. (1959). Some clinical considerations in the prevention of suicide based on a study of the 134 successful suicides. AM J Public Health, 49: 888–889.

Genetic Factors Associated with Suicide and Suicide Attempts

Mann J.J., Arango V.A., Avenevoli S., Brent D.A., Champagne F.A., Clayton P., et al. (2009). Candidate endophenotypes for genetic studies of suicidal behavior. Biological Psychiatry, 65(7): 556–63.

Runeson B. & Asberg M. (2003). Family history of suicide among suicide victims. American Journal of Psychiatry, 160(8): 1525–6.

Schulsinger F., Kety S.S., Rosenthal D. & Wender P.H. (1979). A family study of suicide. In M. Schou & E. Stromgren (Eds.). Origin, Prevention, and Treatment of Affective Disorders (pp. 277–287). New York, NY: Academic Press.

Wender P.H., Kety S.S., Rosenthal D., Schulsinger F., Ortmann J. & Lunde I. (1986). Psychiatric disorders in the biological and adoptive families of adopted individuals with affective disorders. Archives of General Psychiatry, 43(10): 923–9.

Findings Related to Suicide Attempts

Beautrais A. (2003). Subsequent mortality in medically serious suicide attempts: A 5 year follow-up. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 37: 595–599.

Carter G.L., Clover K., Whyte I.M., Dawson A.H. & D'Este C. (2007). Postcards from the Edge: 24-month outcomes of a randomised controlled trial for hospital-treated self-poisoning. British Journal of Psychiatry, 191: 548–53.

Jenkins J.R., Hale R., Papanastassiou M., Crawford M.J. & Tyrer P. (2002). Suicide rate 22 years after parasuicide: cohort study. BMJ, 325(7373):1155.

Medical History and Other Factors that Increase Suicide Risk

Angst J. & Clayton P.J. (1998). Personality, smoking and suicide: a prospective study. Journal of Affective Disorders, 51(1): 55–62.

Life Events and Sociological Characteristics Linked to Increased Suicide Risk

Hawton K., Agerbo E., Simkin S., Platt B. & Mellanby R.J. (2011). Risk of suicide in medical and related occupational groups: a national study based on Danish case population-based registers. Journal of Affective Disorders, 134(1-3): 320–6.

Luo F, Florence CS, Quispe-Agnoli M, Ouyang L & Crosby AE. (2011). Impact of business cycles on US suicide rates, 1928–2007. American Journal of Public Health, 101(6), 1139–46.

Morris J.B., Kovacs M., Beck A.T. & Wolffe A. (1974). Notes toward an epidemiology of urban suicide. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 15(6): 537–47.

Qin P., Agerbo E. & Mortensen P.B. (2003). Suicide risk in relation to socioeconomic, demographic, psychiatric, and familial factors: a national register-based study of all suicides in Denmark, 1981–1997. American Journal of Psychiatry, 160(4): 765–72.

Schernhammer E. (2005). Taking their own lives—the high rate of physician suicide. New England Journal of Medicine, 352(24): 2473–6.