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Adolescent Suicide

Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry

  • ISBN 978-0-87318-208-9
  • Item #7208

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Even the most skilled therapist may underestimate suicide potential. Careful assessment and competent psychiatric intervention cannot always predict the suicidality of a particular person. Adolescent Suicide (GAP Report 140) presents techniques that allow psychiatrists and all those caring for the health and welfare of adolescents to respond to signals of distress with timely therapeutic intervention. It also suggests measures of anticipatory prevention.

Adolescent Suicide presents an overview of adolescent suicidal behavior. It explores risk factors, the identification and evaluation of the suicidal adolescent, and approaches to therapy. It offers both historical and cross-cultural perspectives, the relevance of suicide to adolescent development, mental health training needs regarding suicidality, and related issues such as public health policies and medicolegal concerns.

The risk of suicide presents a unique crisis in adolescent development. For this reason, all mental health professionals will find this report an indispensable tool in the treatment of adolescents at risk for suicide. Drawing from years of combined experience, this committee has applied its expertise on adolescent development to the sobering problem of suicide.


  • Suicide in historical, cross-cultural, and sociological perspectives. Normal adolescent development and developmental deviations: relevance to suicide. Research into suicidality. Psychodynamics and psychopathology associated with suicide. Prevention and early intervention with the suicidal adolescent. Ongoing treatment with suicidal adolescents. Training issues. Medicolegal and public policy aspects of therapeutic care. Summary and conclusions. References. Index.

Adolescent Suicide is a well-written and comprehensive but succinct text that provides as good an overview as exists in print. It is highly recommended, and it should be read by all mental health professionals who work with adolescents. . . . Anyone interested in an overview of adolescent suicide will benefit for the GAP monograph.—Psychiatric Services

Adolescent Suicide is pleasantly written and organized. . . . [T]he book is educated, timely, biopsychosocially integrated, and full of useful facts, concepts and questions. It is quite likely to last for a while. I recommend it.—American Journal of Psychiatry

[A] timely effort to provide information to those who treat and otherwise come into contact with adolescents who may be suicidal or who are at risk.—Psychiatric Times

The Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry's Committee on Adolescence have distinguished themselves by providing a book that represents the 'state of the art.' It is liberally sprinkled with illustrative case vignettes, which demonstrate the authors' dedicated clinical perspective and which make the reading particularly germane to the practicing mental health practitioner. It is a handbook and practical guide to the subject of adolescent suicide.—Jon A. Shaw, M.D., Professor and Director, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida

If you are going to read one book on adolescent suicide, read this. It is the best overview of the problem available in print, and very inclusive without being too long. The discussions are reflective, scholarly, and informative—well presented for general professional readers, but highly useful for adolescent and suicide experts as well. Every psychiatrist and pediatrician would profit from a close reading.—John T. Maltsberger, M.D., Lecturer on Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Dublin Prizewinner and Past President, The American Association of Suicidology

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