According to the World Health Organization (WHO), close to 800,000 people die due to suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds. Suicide is a global phenomenon and occurs throughout the lifespan, and there are indications that for each adult who died by suicide, there may have been more than 20 others attempting suicide.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “Leading Causes of Death Report”, in 2017 suicide was the tenth leading cause of death overall in the United States, claiming the lives of over 47,000 people; Suicide was the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34, and the fourth leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 35 and 54. There were more than twice as many suicides in the United States as there were homicides.
Aiding Suicide Prevention Through Psychiatry
Dr. Christine Moutier, MD is the Chief Medical Officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Dr. Moutier earned her medical degree and training in psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, and has been a practicing psychiatrist, professor and dean in the UCSD School of Medicine, medical director of the Inpatient Psychiatric Unit at the VA Medical Center in La Jolla, and has been clinically active with diverse patient populations, such as veterans, Asian refugee populations, as well as physicians and leaders with mental health conditions.
She also served as co-investigator for the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression study (STAR*D), a large National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) trial on the treatment of refractory depression.
Dr. Moutier has authored numerous articles and book chapters for publications such as the Journal of the American Medical Association, Academic Medicine, the American Journal of Psychiatry, the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, Psychiatric Times, Depression and Anxiety, and Academic Psychiatry.
She has testified before the U.S. Congress and spoken at the White House, she was the host of AFSP’s documentary on surviving suicide loss, The Journey, and has appeared as an expert in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time magazine, The Economist, The Atlantic, the BBC, NBC, CNN and other print and television outlets. She is also a member of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience.
On this episode we will hear from Dr. Moutier about:
Her background and how she became interested in medicine, in psychiatry, and became a thought leader in the area of suicide prevention. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). The top 10 learnings of why so many people are dying by suicide in 2020. The Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) collaborative study on the treatment of recalcitrant depression, a leading driver of suicide. Suicide connections to modern stressors/traumas such as the Coronavirus pandemic. Nutritional interventions to help prevent depression related suicide. The National Academy of Medicine’s Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience and the understandings of challenges related to clinician well-being, stress and burnout, and suicide.
This interview is in American English
Credits: Ira Pastor interview video, text, and audio.
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If you liked this interview, be sure to check out our interview with Dr. Ekaterina Malievskaia!
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