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Suicide Is Preventable: An Unsafe Clause

Saxby Pridmore, Abdul Maajid


Objective: To examine and determine the possible meaning/s and scientific basis of the clause “Suicide is preventable” 

Methods: We examined and compared a wide range of scientific literature, newspaper reports and electronic media publications. 

Results: When made without a statement of clarification, the meaning and scientific basis of this clause cannot be substantiated. 

Conclusions: When made without a statement of clarification, the clause “Suicide is preventable” has no meaning or scientific basis. It gives families, health professionals and the community wrong information and unrealistic expectations, and can lead to unjustified blaming of people who are attempting to help. Its continued use (in the absence of a clear statement of clarification) is discouraged.

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Suicide; Suicide Prevention; Mental Disorder

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