Position statement: Understanding and preventing suicide: a psychological perspective

British Psychological Society
British Psychological Society
Publication date:
11 September 2017


Early identification of suicidal thoughts and behaviour, and effective care for those at risk, are crucial in ensuring people receive the care they need and deserve. Action at an early stage is core to any strategy for suicide prevention. Although the causes of suicide are many, understanding the psychological processes underlying suicidal thinking and the factors that lead to people acting on their thoughts of suicide is vital to enabling the development and implementation of effective prevention and intervention techniques. This includes understanding the social factors and health inequalities that lead to a sense of hopelessness and despair, and understanding how individuals make sense of and respond to challenges in their lives.