A National Suicide Risk Identification and Intervention Initiative


  1. To connect those who identify suicide risk in themselves or others with crisis intervention counselors and/or emergency services.
  2. To expand suicide risk screening beyond specialized health, organizational, and school settings to the general public by offering free, anonymous suicide risk identification on this website.
  3. To provide educational resources about suicide, suicide risk assessment, suicide intervention and risk mitigation, and postvention support to both clinicians and the lay public.
  4. To maximize the utilization of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and its cadre of trained crisis counselors who are available 24/7.


Douglas Jacobs, M.D.

Dr. Jacobs has been on the Harvard faculty for over 40 years and the clinical staff of McLean Hospital for 30 years and is a recognized expert in suicide assessment and intervention. In the early 90s, he initiated the concept of large-scale mental health screening for mental disorders, with the founding of National Depression Screening Day. In 2003, he was appointed chairman of the workgroup that published the American Psychiatric Association’s Practice Guideline for the Assessment and Treatment of Patient’s With Suicidal Behaviors. He recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention.

Marci Klein Benheim, Ph.D.

Dr. Klein Benheim is a psychologist and researcher in Fairfax, Virginia. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Michigan. She has collaborated with Dr. Jacobs for over 30 years on research on a variety of psychiatric topics, including suicide, depression, and addiction. Among her publications, she has contributed chapters to The Harvard Medical School Guide to Suicide Assessment and Intervention (Jacobs, 1999) and Suicidology: Essays in Honor of Edwin Schneidman (Lenaars, 1993). Most recently, she developed content for Fighting Opioid Misuse, a new website that seeks to educate the public on opioid misuse, particularly its dangers and its relationship to suicide risk.


Ross J. Baldessarini, M.D.

Website consultant, Ross J. Baldessarini, MD, is Professor of Psychiatry (in Neuroscience) at Harvard Medical School, director of the International Consortium for Mood & Psychotic Disorders Research at McLean Hospital, and senior consultant in psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital. He was a career investigator of the NIMH (1970–2001) and is an internationally known research neuropsychopharmacologist. He has made many contributions to clarifying the actions and improving clinical use of antipsychotic and mood-altering medicines, developed accepted biological theories of such disorders as tardive dyskinesia and hepatic encephalopathy, and has trained over 160 laboratory and clinical investigators. He has over 3270 publications, including chapters on psychopharmacology in the standard American textbook of pharmacology (1980–2005), as well as his own monograph, Chemotherapy in Psychiatry, and serves on editorial boards of leading psychiatric and neuroscience research journals. He has been an invaluable mentor to Dr. Jacobs for many years and reviewed the treatment section of this website.

John Draper, Ph.D.

Dr. Draper is the Director of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and has nearly 25 years of experience in crisis intervention and suicide prevention work. He is considered one of the nation’s leading experts in crisis contact center practices (hotline, online chat, SMS services, etc.), and oversees all aspects of the federally-funded National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network, which consists of over 160 member crisis centers across the country. Dr. Draper’s work has had direct impact to the mission of this website.

Madelyn Gould, PhD, MPH

Dr. Gould is the Irving Philips Professor of Epidemiology in Psychiatry at Columbia University, Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, and a Research Scientist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI). She directs a research unit within the Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and NYSPI. Her long-standing research interests include the epidemiology of youth suicide, as well as the evaluation of youth suicide prevention interventions. During the past three decades, she has received continuous federal funding from the National Institute of Health (NIMH), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for her research in the area of suicide prevention. Current projects focus on the evaluation of suicide prevention strategies, including telephone crisis services, and chat crisis services which have particular relevance for this website.


The sources for this website come from academic journals and books and organizations, such as the CDC, NIMH, WHO, APA, AAP, ACOG, AFSP, MHA, and NAMI. See our complete list of references.


Stop A Suicide Today provides suicide risk questions, connection to and identification of crisis resources, and information about suicide and its treatment for the public and clinicians. The Stop A Suicide Today program is not itself a health care provider. Scoring positive on the suicide risk questions is not synonymous with a clinical assessment of suicide risk. Suicide risk can be determined only by a complete evaluation performed by a health care clinician. It is recommended that anyone who either scores positive on the suicide risk questions or continues to have concerns about suicide in themselves or a loved one contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255, go to a health care clinician or local emergency department for an evaluation, or call 911 for emergency assistance.