Suicide, a major public health problem, affects all age categories and both sexes, all countries but in varying degrees, with geographical discrepancies in France. Analyzing mortality data requires to take account the medical causes of death reported on death certificates. Should suicide not be explicitly mentioned, the prevalence of death by suicide may be underestimated.
Predictability of suicidal action is very uncertain and to draw a portrait of the suicidal subject is impossible. Nonetheless various risk factors have been identified by using the psychological autopsy. The principle is based on the collection of data to reconstitute psychological, social and medical circumstances of death.