[YSPNetwork] Fw: Can suicide be really predicted? Study says yes
kdwolfe at prodigy.net
Wed Nov 9 06:41:25 PST 2011
As an FYI. Kirk
----- Forwarded Message ----
From: David Fassler <dfassler at vtpsych.com>
To: David Fassler <dfassler at vtpsych.com>
Sent: Wed, November 9, 2011 2:40:49 AM
Subject: re: Can suicide be really predicted? Study says yes
November 8, 2011 3:05 PM
Can suicide be really predicted? Study says yes
By David W Freeman .
(CBS) Wouldn't it be great if there were a simple questionnaire that could
predict who is and who isn't going to attempt suicide? Turns out there is, and
new research shows it to be extremely accurate.
PICTURES - Who's at risk for suicide? 5 life-saving questions to ask
Researchers evaluated the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) -
already in use by institutions ranging from the World Health Organization to
local fire departments - in three separate studies. One involved adults given
emergency care for psychiatric problems. Two others involved adolescents who had
been diagnosed with major depression or who had attempted suicide.
The study's lead author said the studies showed that the C-SSRS was "extremely
accurate" at predicting suicide attempts.
"This is a very feasible, easy approach that will help us identify people we
need to get to," Dr. Kelly Posner, director of Columbia University's Center for
Suicide Risk Assessment in New York City, told CBS News. "It identifies people
we would have missed otherwise, and avoids the 'false positives'" in which
people who aren't truly suicidal wind up getting costly and burdensome
The scale, which is available in 103 languages, can be administered in minutes
by anyone trained in its use - not just health-care professionals, according to
a written statement about the study issued by the university. The study was
published online Nov. 8 and will appear in the Dec. issue of the American
Journal of Psychiatry.
Dr. Posner said there hadn't been any comprehensive way to assess risk of
suicide before the scale came into use. Given its simplicity and proven
accuracy, she called on doctors to use the scale on a routine basis with their
"Fifty percent of suicides see their primary-care doctor the month before they
die," she said. "We should be asking these questions the way we monitor for
Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, chairman of the department of psychiatry at Columbia and
director of the New York State Psychiatric Institute, seemed to concur on the
benefits of widespread screening using the scale. "The public health benefits in
terms of lives saved could be enormous," he said in the statement.
Suicide is certainly a big problem. According to the National Institute of
Mental Health, it was the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2007,
accounting for 34,598 deaths. For every suicide, there are an estimated 11
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