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University of Southern California's Suicide Research Initiative 

Working towards better connections for prevention

You may be able to help inform suicide prevention efforts.

In the United States, approximately 130 people die by suicide every single day. That means that someone dies by suicide every ten minutes, totaling over 45,000 deaths by suicide each year. 

We believe in changing these statistics, changing the story. 


Changing the story starts with hearing stories--of loved ones lost, of people who are in distress, of ways that we can fundamentally change our society to be better equipped to save lives. Our initiative focuses on the context of suicide rather than just the cognition of suicide. What was going on in someone's life outside of their mental health? How can we create better connections for suicide prevention across non-clinical industries?

We are currently conducting three studies to bring us closer to better suicide prevention.

Current suicide prevention focuses on the mental health of an individual. We hope to build out from the decades of work at the micro-level (individual mental health) by forging into the mezzo and macro levels of communities, industries and systems. We're looking into different risk factors and incidents of distress that occur in people's lives--social determinants that could be a building ground for potential connections for prevention efforts.

Charting Upstream Suicide Prevention (CUSP)

Exploring professionals' experiences with clients who might be in distress or at risk for suicide, with hopes of learning how we can better improve connections for prevention.

Suicide Prevention in Industries of Disruption

An interview-based study with professionals who work in Family Law, Unemployment Services, Mortgage-Foreclosure, and Self-Storage to gain knowledge about their experiences with clients facing major life disruptions and their current resources and training for suicide prevention. 

Life Events Antecedent to Death by Suicide (LEADS)

Hearing the stories of loved ones lost to suicide in hopes of learning ways to prevent suicide by understanding what kinds of non-clinical services and professionals someone might have contacted or interacted with prior to their death.


Funded by the National Institute of Mental Health


Approved by the Institutional Review Board


At the University of Southern California

Do you want to help research by participating and learning more?

Check out our current research, published research, and ways to get involved if you are eligible to participate. 

Have questions? Reach out.

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