What it is: Suicidality involves the thoughts, urges, and behaviors associated with a wish or plan to take one’s own life. Suicide is a major public health problem: it is the second leading cause of death in young people, and it is in the top 10 leading causes of death for adults in the US. Moreover, the CDC recently released a report showing that suicide rates are on the rise nationwide (CDC, 2018).
A similar yet distinct behavior is called non-suicidal self-injury and includes any behavior that causes damage to the physical self without the intent to die (e.g., cutting, burning). People engage in self-injury for a variety of reasons, including self-punishment, distraction, or to reduce feelings of numbness or detachment.