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Definitions: Self-directed Violence

  • Suicide
    Death caused by self-directed injurious behavior with an intent to die as a result of the behavior.
  • Suicide attempt
    A non-fatal, self-directed, potentially injurious behavior with an intent to die as a result of the behavior; might not result in injury.
  • Suicidal ideation
    Thinking about, considering, or planning suicide.

The CDC publication, Self-directed Violence Surveillance: Uniform Definitions and Recommended Data Elements is meant to promote and improve the ability of individuals and organizations to gather self-directed violence surveillance data.

Why Is a Consistent Definition Important?

A large body of literature about suicide and suicide prevention exists, however, the usefulness of this information and the ability to interpret it is often questionable. Consistent data allow researchers to better gauge the scope of the problem, identify high-risk groups, and monitor the effects of prevention programs and policies.

For more detailed information self-directed violence, download or print Self-directed Violence Surveillance: Uniform Definitions and Recommended Data Elements.


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