JAMA Psychiatry

Toward a Distinct Mental Disorder—Suicidal Behavior

In 2017, there were 47 173 suicides in the US. The Surgeon General’s 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention articulated strategies for addressing this epidemic, which included increased access to psychiatric services, restricting access to lethal means, and increasing resources for suicide prevention research, including proposed harmonized coding and methods to improve suicide-related data and their use. This last strategy could be addressed by recognizing suicidal behavior as an independent construct that would harmonize clinical and research data and permit the leveraging of large health-related databases to discover clinical and biological markers of imminent and longer-term suicide risk.