We’re discussing the association between chronic pain and suicide. The information you’ll learn in this episode may help you screen for the risk of suicide more effectively. It may help you effectively treat suicide, and by learning and sharing this information, you may save a life. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States.
In 2019, approximately 48,000 Americans died by suicide. In that same year, there were an estimated 1.4 million suicide attempts. Chronic pain is a risk factor for suicide, and research indicates that chronic pain is present in about 10% of those who die by suicide. It’s important as licensed healthcare professionals and loved ones of those who live with chronic pain that we learn how to ask the right questions, assess for risk factors, and intervene to help prevent suicide rates.
In a few moments, you’ll meet Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Joan Rosenberg, who has conducted research in the field of suicide, as well as treated patients in her clinical practice. Before we begin, I wanted to provide you with some information to effectively ask, assess, and intervene in those you feel may be at risk for suicide, especially those who live with chronic pain. First, I’d like to provide you with a shortlist of factors that may increase the risk of suicidal behavior among people living with chronic pain.