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What we've learned through research

Discover the top findings from suicide research or download the complete list here

Top 10 things we've learned from research

  1. Suicide is related to brain functions that affect decision-making and behavioral control, making it difficult for people to find positive solutions
  2. Limiting a person’s access to methods of killing themselves dramatically decreases suicide rates in communities
  3. Ninety percent of people who die by suicide have an underlying — and potentially treatable — mental health condition
  4. Depression, bipolar disorder, and substance use are strongly linked to suicidal thinking and behavior
  5. Specific treatments used by mental health professionals — such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy-SP and Dialectical Behavior Therapy — have been proven to help people manage their suicidal ideation and behavior
  6. No one takes their life for a single reason. Life stresses combined with known risk factors, such as childhood trauma, substance use — or even chronic physical pain — can contribute to someone taking their life
  7. Asking someone directly if they’re thinking about suicide won’t “put the idea in their head” — most will be relieved someone starts a conversation
  8. Certain medications used to treat depression or stabilize mood have been proven to help people reduce suicidal thoughts and behavior
  9. If someone can get through the intense, and short, moment of active suicidal crisis, chances are they will not die by suicide
  10. Most people who survive a suicide attempt (85 to 95 percent) go on to engage in life

Additional resources

    Suicide research videos

    Learning more about suicide

    The more we learn about suicide, the more lives we can save. Watch videos featuring some of the world’s leading suicide prevention researchers.

    Watch now

    Are There Genetic Risk Factors for Suicide?

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    Genetics, along with other factors, contribute to suicide but don’t tell the whole story. Suicide has its own biology, independent of any specific mental health conditions.

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    Are There Health Consequences When an Individual is Bereaved by their Spouse’s Suicide?

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    Support in coping with the suicide of a spouse may help prevent negative consequences, especially for individuals with higher risk.

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    Does the Way Media Reports on Suicide Impact Rates of Suicide?

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    Negative media coverage related to suicide can increase suicide rates, but hopeful messages in the media can help reduce suicide rates.

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