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May 20, 2020

Suicide Prevention Research Priorities in Health Care

Author Affiliations
  • 1National Institute of Mental Health, Rockville, Maryland
JAMA Psychiatry. Published online May 20, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2020.1042

Suicide is an urgent, complex public health crisis. More than 48 000 people died by suicide in the United States in 2018, reflecting a rate that has increased by one-third over the past 2 decades. Despite these increases, we are optimistic that we can bend this curve. Along with the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (NAASP), the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is committed to reducing the suicide rate by 20% by 2025. This aspirational goal has guided our suicide prevention research agenda for the past 5 years, emphasizing risk detection, screening, and intervention in health care settings. In the next 5 years, the NIMH will prioritize research aimed at implementing evidence-based practices in routine care, filling critical knowledge gaps that will have a near-term effect on suicide rates, and engaging strategic partners to maximize the value of research findings. This effort is aligned with the US National Strategy for Suicide Prevention used by the NAASP that, among its objectives, seeks to transform health care systems to reduce suicide.

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