Suicide is an increasing public health crisis; approximately 33,000 people die by suicide each year in the U.S., it is the second most common cause of death in both college students and the military, and every year 2 million adolescents in the U.S. attempt suicide. In addition to the tragic loss of life, suicide takes a major toll on the living, causing untold suffering for friends and family members left behind.
Suicide is preventable, but for many years, a lack of consistency surrounding what constitutes a suicide attempt hindered the gathering of reliable data. Without this data, it is impossible to conduct the research that could lead to better care and prevention, including being able to identify those most at risk.
Kelly Posner, Ph.D., and a team at Columbia University have developed a tool that has been instrumental in standardizing the assessment of suicidal behavior--including what actually constitutes a suicide attempt--thus greatly increasing our knowledge about suicide and how to prevent it.
Dr. Posner spoke at the NYU Child Study Center's Grand Rounds on October 28, 2011. Her presentation was entitled, "Suicidality and Medications: From Antidepressants to Chantix." You can watch a video of her full presentation, above. Dr. Posner is director of the Center for Suicide Risk Assessment; research scientist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute; and associate professor at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.
You can see more videos from the NYU Child Study Center's expert clinicians and Grand Rounds speakers at the NYU CSC YouTube channel.