Why People Die By Suicide

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In his theory of suicidal behavior, Thomas Joiner proposes factors that mark those most at risk of death: the feeling of being a burden on loved ones; the sense of isolation; and, perhaps chillingly, the learned ability to hurt oneself.  He tests the theory against diverse facts taken from clinical anecdotes, epidemiology, genetics, and neurobiology, and will summarize recent developments, implications for understanding risk during and after a pandemic, and implications for risk assessment and suicide prevention.

Presenter: Thomas Joiner

Course Video Length: 1 hour

Course Learning Objectives:

  1. To review basic facts about the epidemiology and risk factors for death by suicide.
  2. To learn about a theory of suicidal behavior, including new developments.
  3. To learn about reliance for and developments in suicide prevention in general, and specifically during and after a pandemic.

Course Online Evaluation: You will be prompted with a link to an online survey at the end of the course.

Course Achievement: No certificate will be available for this course. Completion for this course will, however, show up on the user’s transcript with any other courses that have been completed on the site.

Course Supplemental Material:

  • Robins, E. (1981). The Final Months. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Joiner, T. (2005). Why people die by suicide. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  • Anestis, M., Joiner, T., Hanson, J., & Gutierrez, P. (2014). The model suicide decedent who did not consume alcohol just prior to the time of death: An analysis with implications for understanding suicidal behavior. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 123, 835-840.
  • Chu, C., Buchman-Schmitt, J., Stanley, I., Hom, M., Tucker, R., Chiurliza, B., Hagan, C., Patros, C., Podlogar, M., Rogers, M., Michaels, M., Ringer, F., & Joiner, T. (2017). The Interpersonal Theory of Suicide: A systematic review and meta-analysis of a decade of cross-national research. Psychological Bulletin, 143, 1313-1345.

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