Risk and Protective Factors for Suicide and Suicidal Behaviour: A Literature Review

The Scottish Development Centre for Mental Health, in partnership with the University of Edinburgh (Research Unit in Health, Behaviour and Change and General Practice Section) and the University of Stirling (Department of Applied Social Science and Department of Nursing and Midwifery), were commissioned by the then Scottish Executive to undertake a review of the literature on risk and protective factors for suicide and suicidal behaviour. The review had two overarching aims: first, to describe and assess current knowledge regarding the societal and cultural factors associated with increased incidence of suicide (risk factors), and to delineate the population subgroups that are at increased risk of suicidal behaviour; and second, to describe and assess current knowledge regarding factors that promote resilience and healthy survival against suicidal behaviour amongst people who are exposed to known suicidal risk conditions (protective factors).