Suicide Trends and Prevention in New Orleans

A team of RAND experts is conducting a study to understand the reasons for the increased suicide rates in New Orleans. In 2014—the last year for which data is provided—New Orleans had a record-breaking 50 suicides, a dramatic increase from 27 in 2013. RAND researchers and local partners, including the New Orleans Coroner, are working together to conduct "psychological autopsies" of suicide victims. These are systematic post mortem investigations that include a review of the official report, as well as interviews with next of kin or peers of the decedents.

This investigation represents only a fraction of the national problem of suicide. But the hope is that this study will help inform the rest of the nation about the disturbing upward trend in suicide—and how to better address prevention.

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Q&A with Study Lead Rajeev Ramchand

RAND's Rajeev Ramchand discusses more about the study, including the goals of the study, preliminary findings, its potential impact in New Orleans and across the country.

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Partner Spotlight: Conducting Interviews with Families of Suicide Victims

Enchanté Franklin's main role on the study team is to conduct interviews with family members of suicide victims. She talks about what it's like to interview family members who've experience such tragedy, what the challenges are, and what inspires her to continue this work.

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