As is the case for all complex health outcomes, there are many risk factors known to increase risk of suicide. In Chapter 6, we will address the clinical assessment of suicide risk, which incorporates risk and protective factors. In the current chapter, we will show how risk factors – health and environmental – weave together and escalate risk at particular moments in a person’s life. This chapter will explore how the interaction of biological, psychological, and social/environmental risk factors can increase risk of suicide, differentiating between more enduring and more dynamic factors. We will show how these various factors intersect with life stressors to increase suicide risk. Research related to the global burden of suicide indicates that while cultural factors and available lethal means play a huge role in the suicide risk of a population, many risk and protective factors are shared cross nationally.1 Understanding, as much as possible, how complex interactions between mental, physical health, and life events pave a path to acute suicide risk, lays the foundation for the preventive measures discussed in the subsequent parts of the book.
Understanding how complex interactions between mental health, physical health, and current and past life events pave a path to acute suicide risk, lays the foundation for the preventive measures discussed in the subsequent chapters of the book.