MacArthur fellow will focus on suicide prevention

Los Angeles Times:

Suicide has emerged as a prominent public health issue in recent years because of the stubbornly high rate of such deaths in the United States. But the announcement Tuesday of the MacArthur Fellowships will provide a boost in research aimed at preventing people from taking their own lives.

MacArthur fellow Matthew Nock, 38, a professor of psychology at Harvard University, said the award will also help advance research that is beginning to dispel some myths about suicide.

Suicide is the 10th-leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for about 100 deaths per day. The most recent data, for 2008, show rates are inching upward despite the fact that more people with mental illnesses are treated today, Nock said.

“I think we need to get more creative about trying to understand the complex factors that are involved in suicidal behavior,” said Nock, who earned his doctorate at Yale University before joining Harvard in 2003.

Read the whole story: Los Angeles Times

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