The act of committing suicide can be defined as a self-directed act of aggression resulting from a failure of coping mechanisms in response to stress (Shneidman, 1994). Suicide is the tenth leading causes of death around the world and is progressively becoming more prevalent (WHO, 2015). A national survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) estimates that an average of 8.5 million US adults have serious thoughts of suicide, 2.4 million make a plan, and 1.1 million make an attempt each year (SAMHSA, 2012). This year, suicide has surpassed accidents to become the leading cause of death in adolescents and young adults in the United States.
Although the occurrence of suicide increases, there remains a paucity of effective prevention mechanisms in place to identify and intervene in clinical cases. A major challenge for mental health professionals and researchers is the incongruence in theoretical frameworks for suicidality and a lack of sufficient integrative models that can account for all dimensions. Moreover, the lack of collaboration between fields has prevented the creation of a biopsychosocial model of suicide which may be used to refine suicide screening and treatment. Our goal at the PMT Research Institute is to find a way to stop this global epidemic.