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In Current topics in behavioral neurosciences

Efforts in research, prevention, and treatment of suicidal behavior have produced mixed results. One of the main barriers to combating suicidal behavior lies in the very conceptualization of suicide, a phenomenon that is at once sociological, psychiatric, and even philosophical, and one that has not always been included in the field of health care. There are also many barriers at the social level, ranging from stigma against people with suicidal behavior to stigma towards psychiatric care, as well as the controversial role of the media. The media plays an important role in society and depending on its attitude it can be either beneficial or harmful in our fight against suicidal behavior. Differences between countries - in the provision of resources, in the way of understanding the phenomenon or in the manner of providing official figures - pose an additional challenge to suicide prevention on a global level. In the field of research, predicting suicidal behavior by identifying effective risk markers is severely hampered by the low occurrence of suicide in the population, which limits the statistical power of studies. The authors recommend combining various risk factors to build predictive models. This, in addition to employing increasingly precise machine learning techniques, is a step in the right direction, although there is still a long way to go before the expected results can be obtained. Finally, adequate training of health professionals, both specialized and non-specialized, as well as gatekeeper training, is crucial for implementing suicide prevention strategies in the population.

Oquendo Maria A, Porras-Segovia Alejandro

2020-Sep-29

Suicidal behavior, Suicide, Suicide attempt, Suicide prevention