Skip to main content

Institute for Research on the Suicide of Gifted Students

The William & Mary Institute for Research on the Suicide of Gifted Students was created by Dr. Tracy L. Cross in 2015. The purpose of the Institute is fourfold:

  • Develop an understanding of the nature of suicide among gifted students of all ages (Kindergarten to post-graduate)
  • To identify potential prevention strategies for these students.
  • Consult with schools to assist their efforts at creating safe and caring environments
  • Serve as a clearinghouse of salient information for anyone seeking information on the topic 

book-cover-png.pngDr. Cross has studied this challenging topic since 1994, when he served on a task force to investigate a cluster of suicides among three gifted adolescents. Since that time, he has conducted multiple psychological autopsies to explore the factors underpinning suicidal behaviors among gifted persons.

His book on the topic, Suicide Among Gifted Children and Adolescents, is now in its 2nd edition, co-authored with Dr. Jennifer Riedl Cross. 

In it, they introduce the spiral model of suicidal behavior among gifted children and adolescents. The model is further elaborated in a recent manuscript (Cross & Cross, 2019), which describes its foundations, including the lived experience of gifted individuals.


The spiral model of suicidal behavior among gifted individuals (Cross & Cross, 2019)


The Institute provides a resource to those with an interest in the prevention of suicide, particularly in this population. The activities of the members of the Institute include research and dissemination of information through publications, presentations, and speaking engagements. mmp.jpg

Mind Matters Podcast

Listen to Dr. Cross speak about Suicide Among the Gifted and Twice-Exceptional in Episode 39 of the Mind Matters podcast


Contact Dr. Cross at (757) 221-2210 or with any questions or for further information.