Suicide and ADHD

NW PA Counties graphicThe Northwest Pennsylvania (NW PA) Veteran Suicide Prevention Program operates on a three-pronged approach involving healthcare providers, community organizations, and Veterans and their families in the 15 counties of NW PA.

This video below was recorded during a recent journal club presentation featuring Christy Nyakana, MSW, discussing Risk Factors of Suicidal Spectrum Behaviors in Adults and Adolescents with Attentiondeficit/Hyperactivity Disorder – a Systematic Review by Amalie Austgulen1, Nanna Karen Gilberg Skram, Jan Haavik, and Astri J. Lundervold2. Topics covered include:

  • Adolescents and adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at increased risk of suicidal spectrum behaviors (SSBs). However, there is limited knowledge about risk factors triggering SSBs in this group of people.
  • Exploring published literature concerning factors that may increase the risk of SSBs in adults and adolescents with ADHD.
  • Demographic and clinical features found to increase the likelihood of SSBs in adolescents and adults with ADHD.
  • ADHD as an independent risk factor for SSBs.

View time time: 40 minutes

About the Presenter

Christy Nyakana is a licensed clinical social worker in Erie and has been practicing as a therapist in Pennsylvania and Ohio for over 20 years. Christy earned her B.S. in Sociology and Criminology from the University of Utah and her Master of Social Work from The University of Pittsburgh. Over the course of her career, she has had the opportunity to serve in a number of social service settings, including the legal system, community mental health centers, psychiatric hospitals, medical facilities, family and group homes, military bases, and now in her own online private practice where she works primarily with adult clients struggling with trauma, adjustment and attachment concerns.

Christy’s start in social services began when she was only a teenager when she assisted in writing a grant to start a drug and alcohol prevention volunteer organization. Since then, she has continued to take part in community activism, including her work with PERU and the Erie County Suicide Prevention Board. Christy is also a member of the Society for Military Psychology, the Obesity Action Coalition, is a Give An Hour Volunteer Provider , and has completed all three levels of the Star Behavioral Health Provider training, both of which provide specialized services to active and veteran military service members and their families. She holds certifications in Bariatric Counseling, the Mandala Assessment Research Instrument, and is a Clinical Supervisor in the State of PA. She especially enjoys any opportunity to engage in community education and public speaking about mental health.

Looking to Get Involved?

friends standing togetherWhether you identify as a healthcare provider, community organization, or Veteran, there are several opportunities through the NW PA Veteran Suicide Prevention Program and PERU to connect to resources, participate in educational training, and promote harm reduction strategies. We are actively recruiting healthcare and community partners to work with us in meeting our goals and objectives. To learn more, visit the program website at

Need Help? Know Someone Who Does? Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or use the online Lifeline Crisis Chat. Both are free and confidential. You’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor in your area.

University of Pittsburgh PERU logo

Presented by the Northwest Pennsylvania Veteran Suicide Prevention Program, Christy Nyakana, a licensed clinical social worker and practicing therapist in Erie, PA, speaks on the topic of suicide and ADHD.