Module A: Societal Views, Prevalence and Economic Impact

CE Credits: 1.75


In the United States, suicide is the 10th most common cause of death—but, as this module explores, it is still cloaked in stigma and misunderstanding. This module begins by looking at the shifting attitudes toward suicide over history—at some points it was seen as an honorable way to die, and otherwise it has been shrouded in shame for centuries—and breaks down the current prevalence of suicide by age, gender and geographic area. Next, the module looks at the economic burden of suicide, as it falls on patients and the families affected by both attempted and successful suicides. Finally, the module details how the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) has made changes to identify patients more vulnerable to suicide (including those who suffer from anorexia or PTSD), and how to assess those patients for risk.

Learning objectives: After completing this module the case manager will be able to:
» Describe societal views associated with suicide
» Review the prevalence and demographics associated with suicide
» Discuss the economic burden and impact of suicide
» Identify relevant changes in DSM-5

Advance your professional practice:: Given how common and devastating even attempted suicide can be, it’s important that case managers have a firm grasp on identifying patients at risk. We also need to be able to “break down the walls” around mental illness and suicide: When we can talk about its impact openly, we can help patients and their families effectively


Improve organizational performance: Patients at risk of suicide often have repeated emergency department visits and hospitalizations. When we understand the scope of suicide ideation, we can begin to identify patients at risk and support our team members to treat those patients and prevent repeat hospitalizations.