NSSI and Suicide

The relationship between NSSI and suicidal thoughts and behaviours is complex. Although NSSI is not engaged with conscious suicidal intent, it is the most reliable predictor of later suicidal behaviour. People who have a history of NSSI are 3-5 times more likely to report later ideation or attempt. 

Take home points

  • A history of NSSI is associated with increased risk of later suicidal thoughts and behaviours, however predictive accuracy is relatively weak. 

  • More frequent self-injury and using a greater number of methods to self-injure are associated with increased risk of suicide attempt. 

  • Suicidal intent can fluctuate over time. It is important to continually check in with clients and loved ones regarding their self-injury and suicidality.