Alarming Rising Trends in Suicide by Firearms in Young Americans

Researchers explored suicide trends by firearms in white and black Americans ages 5 to 24 years from 1999 to 2018. From 2008 to 2018, rates of suicide by firearms quadrupled in those ages 5 to 14 years and increased by 50 percent in those ages 15 to 24 years. Suicide deaths by firearms were more prevalent in white than black Americans – a marked contrast with homicide by firearms, which are far more prevalent in black than white Americans.

Most Californians unaware of law to prevent gun violence but would support using it

A new study shows that two-thirds of Californians don’t know about a law designed to prevent a person at risk of hurting themselves or others from possessing or purchasing firearms or ammunition. More than 80% of survey participants were supportive once they read about this law.

ADHD Medications Associated with Reduced Risk of Suicidality in Children with Significant Behavioral Symptoms

ADHD medications may lower suicide risk in children with hyperactivity, oppositional defiance and other behavioral disorders, according to new research from the Lifespan Brain Institute (LiBI) of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the University of Pennsylvania. The findings, published today in JAMA Network Open, address a significant knowledge gap in childhood suicide risk and could inform suicide prevention strategies at a time when suicide among children is on the rise.

Staying Ahead of the Curve: How Experts at Rutgers Are Addressing the Pandemic’s Impact on Mental Health and Risk for Suicide

A recent survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed the incidence of people seriously considering suicide in the prior 30 days almost doubled over the previous year. For essential workers, that figure jumps to 21.7 percent.

Anticipating the more significant impact on clinicians’ mental health, the Department of Psychiatry at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School has been coordinating several initiatives designed to address mental and behavioral issues that could increase suicide risk.

Death by suicide? Drug overdoses muddy waters for investigators, amplify national mental health crisis

Broadening the definition of self-inflicted mortality to encompass most drug overdose deaths, WVU emeritus professor Ian Rockett led a study finding that the entire nation is afflicted by a mental health crisis. In recent years, western states have reported more suicides but Rockett’s research revealed that many drug overdose deaths in non-western states should have been classified as suicides.

Youth with Family History of Suicide Attempts Have Worse Neurocognitive Functioning

Children and adolescents with a family history of suicide attempts have lower executive functioning, shorter attention spans, and poorer language reasoning than those without a family history, according to a new study by researchers from the Lifespan Brain Institute (LiBI) of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the University of Pennsylvania. The study is the largest to date to examine the neurocognitive functioning of youth who have a biological relative who made a suicide attempt.

Surgeon General expects COVID-19 vaccine to be available by year’s end

In a wide-ranging talk with UCLA Health physicians, Wednesday, Oct. 28, United States Surgeon General Jerome Adams, MD, MPH, addressed the politicization of the pandemic and the means of containing the spread of COVID-19. He also offered hope that a vaccine for the virus will be available by year’s end.

McLean Hospital Sponsors National Stop a Suicide Today Town Hall

October 21 is National Stop a Suicide Today. In a collaboration between Stop a Suicide Today, the American Psychiatric Association, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and McLean Hospital, have scheduled a virtual Town Hall featuring talks by leading experts on the rising suicide rate, stigma, safety, the impact of COVID-19, and more.

University of Kentucky Researchers Awarded NSF Grant to Engineer Better Mental Health Solutions

From the limited data currently available, Wilson, Hammer and Usher found that engineering students aren’t necessarily more likely to have a mental health concern, but they are significantly less likely to seek help than non-engineering college students. This treatment gap became the basis for their National Science Foundation (NSF) grant proposal titled, “Development of a Survey Instrument to Identify Mental Health Related Help-Seeking Beliefs in Engineering Students.”

Rutgers Scholar Available to Discuss Concerning Trends of Suicidal Behavior Before and During COVID-19

Rutgers psychologist Edward Selby is available to comment on the need for greater awareness and prevention of suicidal behavior during COVID-19 pandemic. “Suicidal behavior has been escalating in the United States over the last 20 years, and we saw a…

Vets Walking Pets: Strolls with Shelter Dogs May Reduce PTSD Symptoms in Military Veterans

About 6 to 8 million dogs end up in shelters in the U.S. each year. Researchers worked with two no-kill shelters on a study examining the effects of walking with a shelter dog on psychological and physiological stress indicators in military veterans. Results confirm the importance of the human-animal bond and provide evidence that walking with a shelter dog may affect psychological and physiological stress indicators in veterans – with particular potential benefits for those with an increase in PTSD symptom severity.

Rifles and Shotguns Used More Often in Youth and Rural Suicides

The public has long thought that handguns are more responsible for human deaths, including suicides, than long guns such as rifles and shotguns, which have been believed to be more commonly used for hunting or protection from wild animals. But now, in an analysis of data from 16 years of gun suicides in Maryland, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers found that long guns were used more often in suicides by kids and teens than by adults, and were more commonly used in suicide by people in rural counties.

Past trauma exposure, major depression risk factors for suicidal thoughts in deployed Soldiers

Lifetime history of exposure to a traumatic event and self-reported lifetime and current depression are predictive of recent suicide ideation in deployed soldiers, according to a new JAMA Network Open study published January 29, 2020. Researchers suggest that attention to deployment experiences that increase suicide ideation in soldiers with past trauma and major depressive disorder can assist clinicians and leadership in identifying and treating Soldiers at increased risk for suicide.

More Youth Suicide Found in Poor Communities Across U.S.

A study led by Jennifer Hoffmann, MD, from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, found that higher county-level poverty is associated with increased youth suicide rates among children 5-19 years old in the United States in 2007-2016. Children and adolescents from counties where 20 percent or more of the population lives below the federal poverty level were 37 percent more likely to die by suicide, compared to communities with the lowest poverty concentration. Youth suicide by firearms was 87 percent more likely in areas with the highest poverty levels. Findings were published in JAMA Pediatrics.

Training middle-school educators to identify suicide warning signs

New research examined the impact of virtual training on the mental-health and suicide-prevention skills of more than 33,000 middle-school educators. The researchers found, overwhelmingly, that those who completed the training had “higher levels of preparedness” in identifying suicide warning signs than participants at the pre-test evaluation.

Concussions in high school athletes may be a risk factor for suicide

Concussion, the most common form of traumatic brain injury, has been linked to an increased risk of depression and suicide in adults. Now new research published by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) suggests high school students with a history of sports-related concussions might be at an increased risk for suicide completion.