American Association of Suicidology Releases Autism-specific Web Page for Suicide Prevention and Crisis Intervention

Media Contact:
Chris Maxwell
Director of PR and Media
cmaxwell@suicidology.org

Washington, D.C. (Feb. 22, 2022): The American Association of Suicidology (AAS) is pleased to announce the release of resources on its website for autistic people in crisis. In conjunction with the AAS Autism and Suicide Committee, the new page on AAS’s website will contain resources, research, and information on how to communicate and support autistic people in crisis. This is the first time a major, national suicide prevention organization has offered resources for autistic people and those who interact with them as a core part of its services.

“AAS has been supportive of the autism community since starting a conversation about autism and suicide in 2017,” said Lisa Morgan, AAS Autism and Suicide Committee Co-chair. “AAS has continued their support by providing space for autism-specific resources on their website. The potential impact of this webpage for the autism community goes beyond access to resources and opens doors of understanding and acceptance, which in itself is suicide prevention.”

Autistic individuals are over three times more likely to attempt suicide and to die by suicide than non-autistic individuals. There are currently few resources available for professionals, first responders, crisis center workers, families and friends, or autistic people themselves around suicide prevention. As part of AAS’s commitment to increasing and enhancing access to materials and support, as well as improving equity for our member populations, AAS intends to promote and publicize these resources to expand the dissemination of the work being done.

“The Autism and Suicide Committee is dedicated to raising awareness about heightened suicide risk for autistic people, developing autism-specific resources to better support autistic people in crisis, and disseminating these resources widely so more autistic people can access the quality care they need,” said Brenna Maddox, AAS Autism and Suicide Committee Co-chair. “The new AAS autism-specific webpage is a big step toward reaching these goals.” 

The Autism and Suicide Committee will continue to update this webpage with new research findings, clinical recommendations, and autism-specific resources. We hope this AAS webpage dedicated to autism leads to more multidisciplinary collaboration and stakeholder-engaged efforts to decrease the number of autistic lives lost to suicide.

For the Media: Responsible reporting on suicide, including stories of hope and resilience, can prevent more suicides. Please visit the Media as Partners in Suicide Prevention: Suicide Reporting Recommendations for more details. For additional information, please visit SuicideReportingToolkit.com and Stanford University’s Media and Mental Health Initiative. For crisis services anywhere in the world, please visit FindAHelpline.org

About AAS: The American Association of Suicidology is the world’s largest membership-based suicide prevention organization. Founded in 1968 by Edwin S. Shneidman, PhD, AAS promotes the research of suicide and its prevention, public awareness programs, public education and training for professionals and volunteers. The membership of AAS includes mental health and public health professionals, researchers, suicide prevention and crisis intervention centers, school districts, crisis center professionals, survivors of suicide loss, attempt survivors, and a variety of laypersons who have in interest in suicide prevention. You can learn more about AAS at www.suicidology.org.

###