In this section we’ll provide information and links that study the Science of Suicide. We’ll look for the best current research and share it here.

Our effort here is to pass along what we believe to be high quality scientific work studying suicide.


On Sunday, September 18, 2016 the PBS NewsHour ran a segment, Can technology help predict who will attempt suicide? featuring suicide researcher Dr. Matthew Nock of Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Dr. Daniel Dickstein of Bradley Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island and RoseMary Fuss.

Go here for the full report.

90.9wBUR the National Public Radio station in Boston is running an occasional series called “Suicide: A Crisis in the Shadows.”

In the March 20, 2015 episode “The Science Of Suicide: Researchers Work To Determine Who’s Most At Risk” reporter Lynn Jolicoeur explores the work of Harvard psychology professor Matt Nock and his team (among others in the field).

[The entire 9 minute episode can be downloaded to listen to on the device of your choice.]

Nock is using something called an Implicit Association Test to try and tease out the mental state of someone with suicidal thoughts. You are encouraged to complete these tests as quickly as you can.

What’s being measured through these tests could be called your hidden or unconscious bias. As the Mental Health Project Implicit website explains, “Conscious experience provides only a small window into how the mind works.”

The Nock Lab received a $1 million grant from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention — the largest grant in AFSP’s history! This money is drawn from what’s raised by the annual national Out of the Darkness Overnight Walks and the local Community Walks.

Professor Nock has also collaborated on two of the studies funded by the Tommy Fuss Fund, the private foundation established by the Fuss Family  to promote medical research to further our understanding of mental illness. One of these studies (using medical records in an emergency room setting to predict how likely one is to act on the suicidal ideation in the short term) was used as data to write the grant that is now being funded by AFSP.