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J Forensic Sci. 2018 Jan;63(1):162-171. doi: 10.1111/1556-4029.13519. Epub 2017 Jun 21.

Understanding Suicide Across the Lifespan: A United States Perspective of Suicide Risk Factors, Assessment & Management.

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Harvard Longwood Psychiatry Resident Training Program Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, 330 Brookline Ave, Rabb-2, Boston, MA 02215.
Harvard Longwood Psychiatry Resident Training Program Brigham and Women's Hospital, Department of Psychiatry 221 Longwood Ave, Boston, MA 02115.
Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship, Law and Psychiatry Program, Department of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 55 Lake Ave North, Worcester, MA 01655.
Harvard Medical School, 25 Shattuck St, Boston, MA 02115.
Sexual Violence Prevention and Risk Management Program, Department of Psychiatry, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 330 Brookline Ave, Rabb-2, Boston, MA 02215.


Suicide is a troubling, preventable phenomenon. Prior to attempts, individuals often seek help, prompting practitioners to perform risk assessments that ideally use evidence-based risk management strategies. A literature review was performed using Harvard Countway Library of Medicine, Google Scholar, PubMed. Key words used were "Forensic Science," "Suicide Risk Management," "Pediatric Suicide Risk Factors," "Adult Suicide Risk Factors," "Geriatric Suicide Risk Factors," "Suicide Risk Assessment." Parameters limited articles to studies/reviews completed in the past twenty years in the United States. Results indicated predictors of suicide in juveniles were insomnia, burdensomeness, and recent conflicts with family or a romantic partner. Adults had greater risk if male, substance abusing, with marital/job loss. Elderly individuals with multiple medical comorbidities, hopelessness, and isolation were at higher risk. Everyone evaluated should be screened for access to firearms. Management of suicide risk involves providing the least restrictive form of treatment which maintains an individual's safety.


adolescent suicide; forensic science; geriatric suicide; suicide; suicide risk assessment; suicide risk factors; suicide risk management

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