Helping Clinicians Manage Teen Suicide Risk
The Carlat Child Psychiatry Report, Volume 9, Number 1, January 2018
Cynthia R. Pfeffer, MD
Professor of psychiatry and director of the Childhood Bereavement Program at Weill Cornell Medicine, White Plains, NY
Dr. Pfeffer has disclosed that she has no relevant financial or other interests in any commercial companies pertaining to this educational activity.
Historically, psychiatrists did not focus on identifying and treating risk factors for child and adolescent suicidal behavior. But after an increase in youth suicide rates in the 1980s, we started doing more research to get clarity about the issues. For example, we became aware that there were clusters of youth committing suicide—doing so in the same community and during the same time period. We suddenly recognized that hearing about a peer committing suicide would raise the risk for that peer’s close friends.