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Definitions: Self-directed Violence

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

CDC recently released its document Self-Directed Violence Surveillance: Uniform Definitions and Recommended Data Elements, version 1.0. This document is meant to promote and improve the ability of individuals and organizations to gather self-directed violence (SDV) surveillance data.

Why is a Consistent Definition Important?

A large body of literature about suicide and suicide prevention exists. However, the utility 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.

To learn more about this new document and to view its contents, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pub/selfdirected_violence.html


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