Speaking of Psychology: Preventing suicide [American Psychological Association]

Interview with Nadine J. Kaslow, the APA’s 2014  President

Suicide rates have been steadily increasing in recent years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Still, stigma and lack of access to mental health services prevent many people from receiving the help they need.

We’re speaking with Dr. Nadine Kaslow, 2014 president of the American Psychological Association. A tenured professor at Emory University’s School of Medicine, Dr. Kaslow is also a practicing clinical psychologist. She is here to talk with us today about suicide prevention and how psychologists are developing new and innovative ways to help those who are suffering. Thank you for joining us, Dr. Kaslow.

  • Kaslow’s interest in suicide and preventing suicide began when she was in high school and one of her closest friend’s mother died by suicide.
  • She saw the profound impact that this had on the mother’s children, her husband and the community at large and the pain and suffering that everyone else experienced.
  • Then, when Kaslow was in graduate school, at the end of her post-doctorate studies, a patient of hers, whom she says she was extremely attached to, died by suicide and it was very, very difficult for me. It was extremely difficult for me personally as well as professionally.
  • I realized, however, that she chose to die by suicide because she was in so much pain in her life.
  • She was in such psychic pain and she was hearing voices and having visual hallucinations as well and she was tormented and tortured and profoundly depressed. And she couldn’t tolerate living anymore. And so I really wanted to, after that, help people both who are in so much pain try to reduce their pain in other ways, as well as help families and friends and community cope after someone died by suicide.




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