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Throughout the course of human history, people who have experienced extreme emotional pain and suffering have taken their own lives. Suicide is an extraordinarily complex, multidetermined behavior that vexes loved ones, scholars, and researchers, who endeavor to understand the etiological causes of such a profound act of human behavior. The action of intentionally taking one’s own life is perhaps the ultimate expression of emotional desperation. No culture is immune, no corner of the planet is left untouched by intentional self-destruction. For providers of mental health care, perhaps no task is more daunting and challenging than effectively assessing and treating suicidal risk. Yet, although suicidal behavior is universal and ubiquitous, it may be surprising that we do not necessarily know more about it than we ...

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