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A Summary of Suicide Risk and Protective Factors

P. Bonny Ball and Jennifer White

Youth and Young Adults

Jennifer White

Reprinted from "Suicide" issue of Visions Journal, 2005, 2 (7), p. 8

Suicidal behaviour emerges out of a complex and dynamic interplay between individual, social and environmental risk and protective factors. In general, those at greatest risk are single, older adolescents (15–24), Caucasian and Aboriginal males, suffering from major depression and substance abuse who have a history of suicidal behaviour and have easy access to the methods for suicide. It is also true that many young people who kill themselves do not always fit this statistically generated profile. The chart below summarizes some of the most well-established risk/protective factors. Note that it is not an exhaustive list.

  1. *The chart is adapted from the source in footnote 19 (see previous page). A more complete discussion can be found in the source described in footnote 20.

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