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Rates of death from heart disease, stroke, drunk driving, homicide, and other public health problems have fallen substantially. Yet, suicide deaths have not declined. Why is suicidology not doing better? In this webinar I suggest that we overvalue predicting suicide — so much so that we mistakenly treat prediction as synonymous with understanding and preventing suicide. In reality, highly accurate real-world prediction is a) neither sufficient nor necessary for suicide prevention, b) impossible to achieve, and c) an inappropriate basis for developing and validating suicide theory. These claims may sound counterintuitive, but they reflect common knowledge and practice in other fields of health and science. If we want to make progress, suicidology must correct these mistakes, and adjust suicide research and prevention efforts accordingly.
About Dr. E. David Klonsky
E. David Klonsky, PhD, is Professor of Psychology at the University of British Columbia. He has more than 100 publications on suicide, self-injury, and related topics, and his contributions have been recognized by awards from the American Association of Suicidology, Association for Psychological Science, and Society of Clinical Psychology (APA). He is Past-President of the International Society for the Study of Self-injury, Associate Editor of Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, and has advised the American Psychiatric Association for DSM-5 and both the US and Canadian governments regarding suicide and self-injury prevention. In 2015 he published the Three-Step Theory (3ST) of suicide.
About Dr. David A. Jobes
David Jobes, PhD, ABPP, is the founder of CAMS-care, LLC. He began his career in 1987 in the Counseling Center of the Catholic University of America, where he developed a suicide risk assessment tool for college students that evolved into CAMS. Dr. Jobes is now a Professor of Psychology and Associate Director of Clinical Training at Catholic; he has trained thousands of mental health professionals in the United States and abroad in evidence-based assessment and treatment of suicide risk and the use of CAMS.