Check here to see if the Shaka Franklin Foundation posted a summary of an event you may have missed.

Mental Health Begins With Me Community Dialogue

Although this event was a huge success, it isn’t over yet! There is still one more event in this three part serious discussing an action plan for better mental health care and awareness. For more information head to the NAMI website.

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Grand Rounds Presentation

6th Annual Aaron Baily Memorial Suicide Presentation:

Why Do People Hurt Themselves? Recent Advancements in the Understanding of Suicide and Self-Injury

Matthew K. Nock, PhD – Department of Psychology, Harvard University

The facts are that about 1 million people commit suicide every year, which translates to the astounding statistic that there is one death from suicide about every 40 seconds. Today, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in adults, and the 3rd leading cause of death among adolescents. However, not everyone who has suicidal thoughts, actually commit suicide. When studying suicide, researchers have found that there are people who have thoughts about suicide, people who plan their suicides, and people who attempt suicide. In addition to these groups, there are also people who harm themselves with no intention of suicide. These three groups are neither exclusive nor successive.

Dr. Nock discussed many studies that have been done both in the United States as well as across the world. Here are the main points of these various studies:

Within a year, about 1/3 of people surveyed transitioned from suicidal thoughts to actions. Further research has found that the longer someone thinks about suicide, the less likely they are to act on those suicidal thoughts.

There are a few risk factors that have been shown to increase the prevalence of putting action to suicidal thoughts;

1. Females

2. Idealizing suicide at a younger age

3. Individuals who are unmarried

4. Presence of mental disorders

  • Mood disorders and impulse-control disorders increase suicidal attempts
  • The number of mental disorders affects the likelihood of transitioning from ideation to action, one disorder does not show any increases but three or more disorders shows a six fold increase

Aside from factors that contribute to transitioning from suicidal thoughts to actually committing suicide, what about those who harm themselves with no intension of suicide? Social media, social modeling, self-punishment/ self-criticism, and distractions from psychological pain are some of the most prevalent reasons who people may turn to self-harm.

Finally Dr. Nock introduced a glimmer of hope for those who are at risk for suicidal thoughts, actions and even self-harm. A new computerized test called the AIT predicts future behavior and can be used to predict whether a person will transition from suicidal ideation to actually committing suicide. This test has been able to predict suicide attempts beyond all other predictors. If you would like to take the suicidal AIT, among other predictive tests, they can be found at www.implicitmentalhealth.com.

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