Every year approximately 30,000 people die by suicide in the United States, and one million worldwide. Over the last 100 years, suicides have out-numbered homicides by at least 3 to 2.
Concerned about high suicide rates, several federal agencies joined together to ask the Institute of Medicine to convene the Committee on Pathophysiology and Prevention of Adolescent and Adult Suicide to examine the state of the science base, gaps in our knowledge, strategies for prevention, and research designs for the study of suicide.
The committee's report, Reducing Suicide: A National Imperative, explores what is known about the epidemiology, risk factors, and interventions for suicide and suicide attempts. The report's recommendations aim to improve the monitoring of suicide, increase the recognition and consequently the treatment of the primary risk factors in primary care, and expand the efforts in prevention. In addition, the committee recommends the establishment of population research centers that will integrate the talents of experts from many disciplines and will draw upon a large population base with continuity over a long duration to improve prevention and treatment interventions.