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Suicide

  • The Austen Riggs Center is focusing some of our research efforts on the issue of suicide.

    “Suicide is the worst possible outcome,” says Director of the Erikson Institute Jane G. Tillman, PhD. Finding new ways to learn and to help people at risk occupies both her clinical work and her research. Therefore, she is encouraged by a renewed focus on and resources directed toward finding answers to nagging questions: How can we help suicidal patients? What can we learn? Are there things we could do differently?

  • Austen Riggs Center Participates in Berkshire County Out of Darkness Walk.

    Every year, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) sponsors Out of the Darkness Community Walks to raise awareness and funds for suicide prevention. This year more than 200,000 individuals will participate in more than 350 walks across the country.

  • Austen Riggs Center Participates in Berkshire County Out of Darkness Walk.

    Every year, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) sponsors Out of the Darkness Community Walks to raise awareness and funds for suicide prevention. According to AFSP, whose mission is to “save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide,” Out of the Darkness Community Walks “produce millions for suicide prevention programs, unite those who have been affected by suicide, and create communities that are smart about mental health.” This year more than 200,000 individuals will participate in more than 350 walks across the country.

  • The Austen Riggs Center is an open psychiatric treatment setting located in Stockbridge, MA.

    Locked psychiatric units are no better than open units at preventing suicide, according to a large 15-year observational study published this month in the British medical journal The Lancet Psychiatry. In addition, the results of the study suggest that patients in open units are less likely to attempt suicide or to run away from the hospital (with or without returning) than patients in locked units.

  • Dr Eric Plakun and Dr. Jane Tillman presented "Responding to the Impact of Suicide on Clinicians" at the 2016 APA Annual Meeting.

    What are the effects on the clinician when his/her patient dies by suicide? How to respond? Drs Plakun and Tillman have been offering a workshop on responding to the impact of suicide on clinicians as part of the APA Annual Meeting since 2004. 

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a report on Friday showing a 24% increase in the suicide rate between 1999 and 2014, the highest level in 30 years. These troubling statistics have not only caught the attention of the media, but also many researchers and public health experts, who note that the causes for suicide are complicated, involving biological, psychological and sociocultural factors.

  • Eric M. Plakun, MD, DLFAPA, FACPsych, Associate Medical Director and Director of Admissions

    Associate Medical Director Eric Plakun, MD, explores "shared elements" or "common factors" for the treatment of suicidal patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) in the March 4, 2016 issue of Psychiatric News.

  • Austen Riggs Center Participates in Berkshire County Out of Darkness Walk.

    A group of Riggs employees, family members and patients participated in the first-ever Berkshire County Out of the Darkness Walk, sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).  Over 50 staff members participated to raise awareness and dollars to fund research, create educational programs, advocate for public policy and support survivors of suicide loss in Berkshire County. 

  • Mariel Hemingway

    The Erikson Institute for Education and Research of the Austen Riggs Center along with the Berkshire International Film Festival are excited to announce an important community event on suicide, stigma and mental health, featuring mental health advocate Mariel Hemingway and the documentary film about the Hemingway family, Running From Crazy, on Saturday, March 28, from 2:00 to 5:00pm at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, MA. 

  • Robin Williams

    Robin Williams’ death by suicide has drawn attention to the complicated circumstances and feelings that surround the issue of suicide.  When I started studying suicide and its effects on clinicians in 1998 I did not know that this would become a career trajectory.  Suicide back then was swept under the rug and rarely acknowledged as a professional hazard or something to be discussed much in public. 

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