Risk and protective factors
Suicide is preventable. When someone dies by suicide, it is usually because of multiple factors. To prevent suicide, we need to look beyond the individual and consider what is happening around them: in their community, in their relationships, and in wider society.
Some groups and communities have unique risk factors when it comes to suicide – and there are unique ways that they can be protected from suicide. But it’s important to remember that coming from a community that is considered to be “high-risk” does not mean that suicide is inevitable. Suicide affects everyone, from all walks of life.
- Government of Canada. Suicide: Risks and Prevention. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/suicide-prevention/suicide-risks-prevention.html
- CDC. Risk and Protective Factors. https://www.cdc.gov/suicide/factors/index.html
- Norman RE, Byambaa M, De R, Butchart A, Scott J, Vos T. The long-term health consequences of child physical abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS Med. 2012;9(11):e1001349. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001349.
- McClatchey K, Murray J, Chouliara Z, Rowat A. Protective Factors of Suicide and Suicidal Behavior Relevant to Emergency Healthcare Settings: A Systematic Review and Narrative Synthesis of Post-2007 Reviews. Arch Suicide Res. 2019 Jul-Sep;23(3):411-427. doi: 10.1080/13811118.2018.1480983.
- McClatchey K, Murray J, Rowat A, Chouliara Z. Risk Factors for Suicide and Suicidal Behavior Relevant to Emergency Health Care Settings: A Systematic Review of Post-2007 Reviews. Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2017 Dec;47(6):729-745. doi: 10.1111/sltb.12336.
- Mohatt NV, Kreisel CJ, Hoffberg AS, Mph LW, Beehler SJ. A Systematic Review of Factors Impacting Suicide Risk Among Rural Adults in the United States. J Rural Health. 2021 Jun;37(3):565-575. doi: 10.1111/jrh.12532. Epub 2020 Nov 18. PMID: 33210399.
- Chu J, Robinett EN, Ma JKL, Shadish KY, Goldblum P, Bongar B. Cultural versus classic risk and protective factors for suicide. Death Stud. 2019;43(1):56-61. doi: 10.1080/07481187.2018.1430085.
- Sinyor M, Schaffer A, Nishikawa Y, Redelmeier DA, Niederkrotenthaler T, Sareen J, Levitt AJ, Kiss A, Pirkis J. The association between suicide deaths and putatively harmful and protective factors in media reports. CMAJ. 2018 Jul 30;190(30):E900-E907. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.170698.
- Breton JJ, Labelle R, Berthiaume C, Royer C, St-Georges M, Ricard D, Abadie P, Gérardin P, Cohen D, Guilé JM. Protective factors against depression and suicidal behaviour in adolescence. Can J Psychiatry. 2015 Feb;60(2 Suppl 1):S5-S15.
- Williams AJ, Jones C, Arcelus J, Townsend E, Lazaridou A, Michail M. A systematic review and meta-analysis of victimisation and mental health prevalence among LGBTQ+ young people with experiences of self-harm and suicide. PLoS One. 2021 Jan 22;16(1):e0245268. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0245268.
Help when you need it
It’s important to talk about suicide. Connect any time:
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