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Suicide is the act of deliberately taking one's own life. Suicidal behavior is any deliberate action with potentially life-threatening consequences, such as taking a drug overdose or deliberately crashing a car.

Internet Resources

MedlinePlus: Suicide
Developed and maintained by the National Library of Medicine, this page contains a wealth of resources about prevention of suicide, research about the phenomena, skills for coping following the suicide of a family member or friend, and links into organizations that provide support.

American Association of Suicidology
Excellent support resource for both prevention of suicide and coping with loss from suicide. Site includes web sites for survivors, a support group directory, and an online newsletter, Surviving Suicide. The organization sponsors an annual conference.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Provides a 24 hour, toll-free suicide prevention service available to anyone in crisis. This service is confidential and counselors are ready to help individuals experiencing suicidal thoughts, depression, loneliness, family problems, or any other emotional distress.


  • Suicide index: putting my father’s death in order. Wickersham J. 2008
  • Blue genes: a memoir of loss and survival. Lukas C. 2008.
  • Cliffs of despair: a journey to the edge. Hunt T. 2006.
  • Prevention and treatment of suicidal behavior: from science to practice. Hawton K. 2005.
  • Why people die by suicide. Joiner T. 2005.
  • Leaving you: the cultural meaning of suicide. Lieberman L. 2003.
  • Night falls fast: understanding suicide. Redfield Jamison K. 1999.

Journals and Journal Articles

  • “Supporting survivors of suicide loss.” Harvard Mental Health Letter. 26(5):4-5. Nov. 2009
  • "Suicidal thoughts in college.” Harvard Mental Health Letter. 25(5): 7. Nov. 2008.
  • “Antidepressants and suicide: the history of a controversy and where it stands today.” Harvard Mental Health Letter. 24(1): 1-4. Anonymous. July 2007.


The organizations listed in Internet Resources provide support, education and advocacy.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact the  Health Learning Center  at 312.926.5465 or HLC@nmh.org.

Last UpdateMarch 5, 2012