Research Topic

Toward Comprehensive Understanding of the Suicidal Phenomenon

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Although suicide is a major public health issue worldwide, both mental health professionals and lay-people struggle to fully understand and handle it. Part of the problem comes from the myths, obsolete paradigms, and stigma associated with suicide that results in anxiety and fear. However, most suicidal ...

Although suicide is a major public health issue worldwide, both mental health professionals and lay-people struggle to fully understand and handle it. Part of the problem comes from the myths, obsolete paradigms, and stigma associated with suicide that results in anxiety and fear. However, most suicidal individuals want to live even when facing serious suicidal thoughts. Clinicians are, therefore, called upon to unlock the suicidal mind, relieve the suffering, and pay attention to the unmet needs of these individuals.

Too often, the medical model is imposed as a treatment plan. Therapists are more likely to treat the psychiatric disorder and, therefore, assume that this treatment also reduces suicide risk. In this way, the "one fits for all" model precludes understanding the suicidal mind, with its unique characteristics for each subject. Furthermore, there is still a lack of agreed-upon models for managing patients accessing the emergency room and, besides, there is still no data on patient adherence to prevention programs during follow-up.

One of the central elements of caring for people at risk of suicide lies in the ability to formulate the question, "What is it like to be suicidal?". To answer this question, the therapist must change their formal mindset and try to understand that of the subject in crisis. This is a practice that is not necessarily easy but for which you can develop. Throughout this collection, we hope to shed light on the understanding of the suicidal mind to facilitate this approach.

The aim of this Research Topic of Frontiers in Psychiatry is to stimulate a multidisciplinary discussion around the topic of suicide and, above all, point to proper prevention. The main goal is to provide an understanding of the suicidal mind and provide appropriate treatments, either pharmacological or psychological. We are therefore eager to involve scholars from different perspectives in providing their point of view, from medical to broader models depicting suicide risk.


Keywords: Suicide, assessment, management, prevention, postvention


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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