IASP Offers a Selection of Evidence-based Suicide Risk and Protective Factors Research Resources

The International Association for Suicide Prevention Association (IASP) has created a list of evidence-based research concerning suicide risk and protective factors for World Suicide Prevention Day.

Online PR News – 16-August-2012 – Oslo, Norway – The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) co-sponsor World Suicide Prevention Day every year on September 10th. The theme of this 10th anniversary event is “Suicide Prevention Across the Globe: Strengthening Protective Factors and Instilling Hope.” This year, the IASP has prepared a selected listing of suicide risk and protective factors evidence-based research, and has made this listing available so that writers and others can easily access this information.

The resources can be found here:
www.iasp.info/resources/World_Suicide_Prevention_Day/2012/Suicide_Risk_and_Protective_Factors/ (TinyUrl: tinyurl.com/8lg257e)

According to the WHO, suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the world. Approximately one million people worldwide die by suicide each year. This corresponds to one death by suicide every 40 seconds. The number of lives lost each year through suicide exceeds the number of deaths due to homicide and war combined. These staggering figures do not include suicide attempts which may be up to 20 times the number of deaths by suicide, which works out to be one attempt every 1.5 seconds.

The economic costs associated with self-inflicted death or injuries are estimated to be in the billions of US dollars a year. The psychological and social impact of suicide on the family and community is staggering.

Despite the wide experience of the risk factors in populations, the fact that completed suicide is a relatively rare event indicates that there are a range of protective factors that act to mitigate the effects of exposure to risk factors. Among psychological factors, resilience (the ability to cope with adverse life events and adjust to them), a sense of personal self-worth and self-confidence, effective coping and problem-solving skills, and adaptive help-seeking behaviour are often considered to be protective against the development of suicidal behaviours.

Social and cultural factors such as religious and social integration, social connectedness and maintenance of good relationships with friends, colleagues and neighbours, access to support from relevant others and ready access to health care are associated with a reduced risk of suicide and reduced repetition of attempted suicide. In addition, a healthy lifestyle, with maintenance of good diet and sleep habits, regular physical activity, abstinence from smoking and illicit drug use, is also associated with a reduced risk of suicidal behavior.

Suicide is a multi-determined phenomenon that occurs against a background of complex interacting biological, social, psychological and environmental risk and protective factors. Despite the complexity of this phenomenon, suicide can be prevented.

It is anticipated that World Suicide Prevention Day will be observed this year in well over 50 countries.

Established in Vienna, in 1960, by the late Professor Erwin Ringel, IASP is the key Non-Government Organization in official relations with the World Health Organization in addressing suicide. IASP has brought global attention to the unacceptable loss of approximately 1 million people each year worldwide who die by suicide.

IASP is a unique multidisciplinary organization with its membership coming from 50 countries, primarily from the mental health professions, but with additional members from such disciplines as sociology, social work, anthropology, medicine, public health, education, corrections, probation, coroners/medical examiners, pathology and philosophy.

For further information, please contact:

Mrs. Vanda Scott OBE
Development Consultant
Tel: +44 7824 9955 67

Mr. Kenneth Hemmerick
Tel: 1-438-930-4275