Advancing suicide awareness and prevention through research
Chris Caulkins speaks at a TEDx event, where independent organizers can share "ideas worth spreading."
At the Strub Caulkins Center for Suicide Research, we perform forensic death investigations called psychological autopsies, conduct academic research on suicides and mental health, and carry out informational activities. To the fullest extent possible, we make the results of our efforts available to the general public. For example, we compile and summarize research data and statistics into informational fact sheets. Our original research, when not embargoed by publishers, is available for download from our website. And while we protecting the privacy of psychological autopsy subjects and incidents is of the highest priority, as appropriate, we may aggregate data from larger samples of psychological autopsies and make that data available.
We have begun a project to design and develop an interactive database of our research data. As part of our mission, we will make this data available through our website. Progress on the database project will be updated here. Please check back periodically.
The Strub Caulkins Center for Suicide Research (the Center), formed in late 2015, is a 501(c)(3) charitable, nonprofit corporation with a mission to raise public awareness of suicide and related mental health issues and to contribute to efforts to reduce suicide rates in the United States and throughout the world. The work of the Center was first started through Sumrith Solutions, LLC–a now desolved entity that gave rise to the Center. The founders of the Center have vast experience in emergency medical care and education and have first-hand experience with the effect suicide has on those who left asking questions and trying to understand what happened: a group of people called “survivors.” We embody our purpose, mission, vision, and values. In early 2016, we applied for tax-exempt, public charity status from the Internal Revenue Service.
People struggling with mental health problems are exponentially more likely to be the victim of a crime rather than the perpetrator (Eisenberg, 2005). People who are experiencing thoughts of suicide are also often incorrectly considered a violent threat to others. In fact, in 2017, there were over 47,000 suicides (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2019) and only 17,000 murders (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2019). The numbers alone do not support this thought process. Countries around the world have people that are experiencing mental health issues and suicidal thoughts, yet the U.S. is the country disproportionately experiencing the majority of mass shootings and gun violence (American Public Health Association, n.d.). Additionally, the U.S. is one of only 9 countries reporting in to the World Health Organization (WHO)where suicide rates are going up not down, and the number one means used are firearms (WHO, 2012)--but remember those firearms are overwhelmingly used in suicides where the person kills them-self and no one else (CDC, 2019). Approximately 2% of suicides are murder-suicides and involve a domestic component and 0.5% are mass murder-suicides with (Joiner, 2014). What is going on? The answer is that the gun violence the U.S. is experiencing is cultural in origin and the inability of decision-makers to fully understand the true nature of the problem impedes the prevention of deaths. ... See more
We just finished producing the video of the panel discussion from the 2019 American Association of Suicidology Conference. We discussed emergency responders and their relationship to psychological trauma, and suicide. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NC1Bz10jbA4 ... See more
Panel discussion that took place at the 2019 American Association of Suicidology Conference.
Our logo represents the three components of fighting suicide. These are prevention, intervention, and postvention. The teal and purple colors are symbolic of the national colors of suicide awareness and prevention, while green is symbolic of mental health awareness. ... See more
News about the Center! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEid1ELvz6c
The Strub Caulkins Center for Suicide Research is evolving into the Minnesota Center of Suicidology.
Chris Caulkins, Brittany Miskowiec, and Kevin Miskowiec are looking forward to presenting their research at the next International Association for Suicide Prevention World Congress. https://www.iasp2019.com ... See more
The 30th World Congress of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP 2019) will be held in Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland, from 17th-21st September 2019.
Brittany and Chris presenting to a room full of engaged Perham citizens. The Perham community should be proud of these folks. We are!
Brittany teaching suicideTALk to the Perham Hospital and EMS folks. Great audience!
Heading home after a great suicidology conference. Next big conference we will be presenting at will be the International Association for Suicide Prevention World Congress in Derry-Londonderry, Ireland. Last takeaway from the AAS conference: Machine learning continues to identify suicide risk superior to traditional methods. ... See more
Conference Takeaway 2: It is thought that older white males die by suicide more because of permissive attitudes about suicide among those with more advanced age overall and those with disabilities. This is underscored by suicide being seen as masculine act with an element of control. ... See more
Hi Everyone, We are in need of help from leaders in the emergency medical services (EMS) field. I am a member of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s Workplace Task Force. Together with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and United Suicide Survivors International, we are conducting a series of focus groups with key informants to help us develop the nation’s first set of National Guidelines for Workplace Suicide Prevention. We would like to invite you to participate in a one-time 2-hour focus group to discuss the content and format these guidelines should include with other EMS leaders. Are you willing to help us? If so, are you able to join us on August 29th at 3PM CST? If yes, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org of send a FB message. Chris ... See more
Today, Brittany Miskowiec (Board of Directors) and her colleague from UW-Stout presented at the 34th Annual Distance, Teaching, and Learning conference in Madison, WI. They discussed the idea of trauma informed instruction and the importance of online educators taking this approach in the online learning environment. They also discussed their recent research results and plans to work toward a trauma-informed campus. There’s a lot of lived suicide experience during the college years (on campus and online). This type of research and training for higher ed instructors can help debunk some of the suicide myths, educate, and reduce the stigma! ... See more
We just published a piece on suicide among school-age children. https://www.academia.edu/37175121/Suicide_Risk_among_School-Age_Children_What_Education_Professionals_Need_to_Know
Suicide is a significant concern in the United States and school-age children make up a subset of those who die by their own hands every year. Although research is broadening in terms of scope and output, more study is warranted particularly as it ... See more
Chris is off to become a mental health first aid instructor.
If Chris ran a periodic coffee chat to discuss issues, research, etc. on suicide and related phenomenon, would anyone be interested in coming? Thinking of setting up in some Twin Cities Metro Area coffee shop on a Saturday morning and talking with anyone who shows up about whatever is on their mind. If interested, please take the poll on how often you reasonably think you would come. Open to location suggestions. Might even rotate it around to different locales. ... See more
We are excited to announce that we have just achieved the Bronze Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. We anticipate earning the silver level very soon. https://www.guidestar.org/profile/47-5040101
GuideStar connects donors and grantmakers to non-profit organizations.
Hi Everyone, We are honored that Allina Health EMS is once again sponsoring a charity hockey game to raise money for our suicide research and education initiatives. Last year the dedicated folks at Allina Health EMS raised an amazing $9,000+! This fundraiser is attached to the annual PulseCheck EMS Conference and a silent auction will be held as part of the effort. We are in need of items/services to auction off. We are a federally recognized 501(c)(3) charitable organization and donations are tax deductible to the extent allowable by law. If anyone is in a position to help, we surely would appreciate the support! http://emspulse.org ... See more
Friends, we have a Board of Directors vacancy and are in search of someone with a finance/accounting background to join us. This is a voluntary position that includes assisting with budget development, keeping financial records, and filing taxes. Although not necessary, this could be an opportunity to assist with research, co-write articles, etc. if you’d like to help us save lives in this capacity, we’d love to have you. Contact Chris at email@example.com or reply by FB messenger. ... See more
Suicidology Online is a peer-reviewed and indexed open access journal. Our qualitative research paper, "The Role of Communitas in the Prevention of Suicide in Italy: A Comparison with the United States," has just cleared the peer review process and will soon be published. We'll post a link when it comes out. In the meantime, here is the abstract. Abstract There is a marked difference between the suicide rates and trends in the U.S. versus Italy, with Italy having lower rates and a downward trend. It is hypothesized this suicide decrease may be explained in terms of an anthropological-based theory that a period of liminality and resulting communitas occurred. During research conducted in Italy, I interviewed four mental health practitioners, toured medical facilities, attended educational lectures and took various history related tours. I have chosen to undertake a qualitative approach with literature searches on suicide and related phenomena in both the U.S. and Italy. Combined with semi-structured interviews and first-hand observations, information on the “why” reveals disparity between the two countries. More structured studies of this nature must occur to address the epidemic of suicide in the U.S. and to validate the success of practices outside the United States. Keywords: suicide, communitas, liminality, Italy, United States ... See more
Chris is very excited to have been accepted as an expert trainer for the American Institute for the Advancement of Forensic Studies (AIAFS). https://www.aiafs.com/staff-category/expert-trainer
Chris G. Caulkins, MPH, MA Chris is executive director of the Strub Caulkins Center for Suicide Research, program director /faculty for the emergency medical services (EMS)…