Mayo completes study that could help change approach to suicide - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Mayo completes study that could help change approach to suicide prevention


The researchers at Mayo were caught off guard by their findings.

"Well I was frankly surprised that 60 percent started with the coroner rather than at the hospital after they made an attempt, that was quite shocking to me, i had never heard anything like that," Dr. J. Michael Bostwick, lead author of the study, said.

Those findings come after 25 years of data, and almost fifteen hundred victims of suicide attempts in Olmsted County.

What they also found was that of those attempts, firearms were the cause of their attempts, mainly because of how impulsive it can be.

"The literature suggests that a large majority of suicide attempts occur without much thought or without a lot of thought in advanced," Dr. Bostwick said. "We aren't going to stop people who carefully plan their attempts, but if we can stop people from impulsively trying something..."

And after speaking with survivors, he has seen just how effective that could be.

"Most die, so you can't interview them, but those who survive say 'What was I thinking, what did I do this for, oh my god'," Dr. Bostwick said.

In a meeting with the executive director for Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, or SAVE, Daniel Reidenberg, we found out just how important properly covering suicides can be to preventing them, as many suicides can be inspired by others, a term referred to as suicide contagion.

Therefore it's important to be there for anyone who might be struggling.

"So if I were a family member or friend of someone who made an attempt I would really push to make sure there was some kind of follow up after this happens."

That follow up that he mentions is so important, that he says just scheduling a meeting with a psychiatrist reduces risks by two thirds.

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