NIH panel discuss roadmap for advancing research to prevent youth suicide.

An independent panel convened by the National Institutes of Health has developed a 10-year roadmap for advancing research to prevent youth suicide.

To help close research gaps related to youth suicide and to assess the scientific evidence, NIH convened the Pathways to Prevention Workshop on March 29-30, 2016. The report includes recommendations to address these four critical issues over the next decade:

  • The need for surveillance by linking data from multiple sources (e.g., state all-payer databases, emergency room data, electronic health records data).
  • The need to improve measurement across diverse populations and time scales of personal characteristics such as sexual orientation and identity, and environmental contexts that have been associated with suicide risk.
  • The need to help practitioners in identifying effective suicide prevention programs.
  • The need for coordinated education and training opportunities for health care providers, schools, agencies, families, and communities to remove the stigma associated with suicide.

The panel cited several barriers that impede efforts to combat youth suicide. There is limited availability of linked data systems to facilitate identifying important risk factors for youth suicide.
Researchers have not assessed measures of suicide risk and protective factors at multiple levels over time. The stigma associated with suicide has resulted in the misclassification and underreporting of suicide and suicide attempts and has reduced opportunities for successful intervention.

Press release: Panel develops plan for preventing youth suicide