Study: Smoking may contribute to suicide risk

Cigarette smokers are more likely to commit suicide than people who don’t smoke, a relationship that has been attributed to the fact that numerous people with psychiatric disorders, who have higher suicide rates, also tend to smoke. But a new study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis finds that smoking itself may increase suicide risk and that policies to limit smoking reduce suicide rates.

New book on Latina teen suicide attempts uncovers reality behind grim statistics

Luis Zayas’ commitment to U.S. Latinas and their struggle with suicide started in the 1970s when he encountered the pain and suffering that the teenage girls and their parents were experiencing during his work in emergency rooms and mental health-care clinics. “Latinas have the highest rate of suicide attempt among teens in comparison to white girls or African-American girls,” says Zayas, PhD, the Shanti K. Khinduka Distinguished Professor of Social Work at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. Zayas brings compelling personal stories and nearly 40 years of research to his new book, Latinas Attempting Suicide: When Cultures, Families and Daughters Collide, published by Oxford University Press.

Luis Zayas discusses Latina suicide on NPR’s Latino USA

Luis Zayas, PhD, the Shanti K. Khinduka Distinguished Professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, will be on this week’s Latino USA program on NPR discussing Latina teen suicide in the United States. Listen to the program at

New Injury Control Research Center at Washington University in St. Louis

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has designated the Center for Violence and Injury Prevention (CVIP) at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis as one of its newest Injury Control Research Centers (ICRC). Preventing child maltreatment, intimate partner violence, sexual violence, suicide and related injuries through community-based research and educational outreach is the goal of the Brown Center for Violence and Injury Prevention. The center is led by Melissa Jonson-Reid, Ph.D., associate professor at the Brown School. John Constantino, M.D., the Blanche F. Ittleson Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the Washington University School of Medicine, serves as co-director.

Traditional healers are legitimate resources for youth in American Indian communities, says mental health expert

According to numerous studies, American Indian youth experience disproportionate rates of mental health and behavioral problems, including substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and suicidal thoughts. To address this critical problem, an adolescent mental health expert at Washington University in St. Louis says that traditional healers in American Indian communities may be a valuable but under-recognized resource offering alternative and culturally relevant services that complement conventional medical treatment. More…

Depression, suicide are the major health issues facing college students, says student health director

One in three college students is depressed.The numbers are startling. National studies have shown that one in three college students is depressed and one in four contemplates suicide. Why are young people so much more anxious and stressed than previous generations? What can be done to solve this problem? Alan Glass, M.D., director of Student Health and Counseling at Washington University in St. Louis, says recognizing the signs of depression and suicidal tendencies and keeping the lines of communication open are key to diverting a tragedy.