Oct. 29, 2019- We’re in Miami, along with over 450 researchers from across the globe, at the 2019 International Summit on Suicide Research. This biannual conference features some of the world’s leading minds on suicide and prevention, coming together to discuss what we know, what we hope to learn in the near future, and how we can all use #Science2StopSuicide.
Since we’re in the company of some of the world’s foremost leaders in suicide research, we thought it was a good time to ask them a few important questions, such as: “What do we know from research about suicide that the average person doesn’t realize?” and “What will your study help to reveal about how we can save lives?”
Check out just a few of their answers below!
"What we know about suicidal people, from the research, is that suicidal people are not the same. We're getting better at realizing different kinds of subgroups, and that there’s the promise of matching effective treatments to different kinds of suicidal people in an evidence-based way that’s least restrictive and cost-effective, which is really good promise for actually making a clinical difference in these lives." - David Jobes
"We know that it's very important that if someone is at-risk for suicide, they don’t have access to lethal means. It’s amazing how important what is around can be, because the method someone uses is the difference between something that would be a suicide attempt, getting someone treatment and help, and a suicide death. So, if you know someone at high risk, make sure there are no guns in the house, make sure there’s nothing very dangerous like pills that have been stockpiled — that’s the most important thing that we can do to get someone into care." - Paul Nestadt
"Suicide prevention is everybody’s responsibility and everybody’s business, and from the research we know that if you ask somebody directly whether they’re suicidal, they may get the help they require. It can be the first step to saving a life." - Rory O’Connor
"For me, the best to prevent suicide is to do lots of things simultaneously. So, it isn’t just about one agency, clinical services, or public health, it’s about everyone working together. And even more than that, it’s about implementing what we already know. So, lots of suicide research out there, lots of great work. But actually implementing that in the real world, in clinical services, that will make a difference." - Nav Kapur
"People who are suicidal feel separate, and like they don’t belong, and so one of the most important things that people can do if people around them are feeling suicidal is just to show that they care, that they’re interested, and that there’s hope that people can get better." - Mark Sinyor
"We know from suicide research that assessing suicide risk is not directly or immediately harmful. So you can ask how a person is doing, through a direct question or through behavior measures, in advancing our knowledge on suicide." - Christine Cha
"I think the average person thinks that the most important things we can know are what the risk factors are for people who attempt and die by suicide, but I think when we really break it down with respect to research, we know that we can’t just rely on these risk factors to be able to determine who’s actually going to die by suicide, and that really there’s such interplay among all these different factors that are really important to pay attention to." - Kim O’Brien
We’d like to thank all of the researchers we met with for taking the time to speak with us, answer our questions, and make us all a little smarter about mental health. To learn more, visit our Research Video page, which features short, easy-to-understand clips from some of the world’s leading suicide prevention researchers, filmed during the 2017 International Summit on Suicide Research — and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, so you don’t miss any of the exciting things happening throughout this year’s Summit and beyond!
The 2019 International Summit on Suicide Research is sponsored by the International Academy of Suicide Research, in partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The Summit, held in Miami, FL, from October 27-30, includes over 450 researchers from over 30 countries worldwide.