Tag Archives: suicide

Suicides among mental health patients under home treatment in England are double the number of suicides in mental health inpatient units

Artistic presentation of Patient of mental health (Credit: JenXer/Flickr)

Artistic presentation of Patient of mental health (Credit: JenXer/Flickr)

Main Points:

The number of deaths by suicide among mental health patients treated at home by crisis resolution home treatment teams (CRHT)*,  has more than doubled in England in recent years, rising from an average of 80 in 2003-2004 to 163 in 2010-2011, according to new research published in The Lancet Psychiatry. In contrast, suicides on psychiatric wards fell by more than half, from 163 in 2003-2004 to 76 in 2010-2011.

Published in:

The Lancet Psychiatry

Study Further:

The research also reveals that despite an 18% fall in the suicide rate among people receiving community care by CRHT  teams between 2003 and 2011, the overall suicide rate among patients cared for at home remains higher than the overall psychiatric inpatient suicide rate (14.6 per 10 000 episodes under home care vs 8.8 per 10 000 hospital admissions). Continue reading

Task Force finds insufficient evidence to recommend for or against screening for suicide risk

Task Force finds insufficient evidence to recommend for or against screening for suicide risk (Credit: Flickr)

Task Force finds insufficient evidence to recommend for or against screening for suicide risk (Credit: Flickr)

Main Points:

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) finds insufficient evidence to recommend for or against screening adolescents, adults, and the elderly for suicide risk, according to a final recommendation statement being published in Annals of Internal Medicine. Continue reading

Around 60% of people who contemplate or attempt suicide do not receive treatment

Main Points:

In this Review, published to coincide with the launch of The Lancet Psychiatry journal, Professor Rory O’Connor from the University of Glasgow and Professor Matthew K. Nock from Harvard University review the key psychological factors that may contribute to, or protect against, suicidal behaviour including personality differences, cognitive factors, and negative life events such as serious physical illness, as well as current psychological treatments. Evidence suggests that about 60% of people struggling with suicidal thoughts or behaviour do not receive any help, and, surprisingly, there is relatively little evidence for the effectiveness of treatments received by those who do. The authors conclude by calling for more research into novel psychological and psychosocial treatments.

Published in:

The Lancet Psychiatry Continue reading

Promising biomarkers to predict suicide risk

Main Points:

In this Review, published to coincide with the launch of The Lancet Psychiatry journal, Professor Kees van Heeringen from Ghent University in Belgium and John Mann from Columbia University in the USA discuss the stress-diathesis theory of suicide, in which a predisposition or diathesis interacts with stressful life experiences and acute psychiatric illness to cause suicidal behaviour. The theory explains why only a small minority of individuals are at risk of taking their own lives after exposure to such stressors.

Published in:

The Lancet Psychiatry 

Study Further:

The authors discuss the causes of the diathesis, or predisposition, to suicidal behaviour, which may include genetic effects and the long-term impact on the brain and behaviour of early life adversity (eg, physical and sexual abuse). Additionally, they outline various neurobiological factors that may play a role in this predisposition to suicidal behaviour. For example, post-mortem and neuroimaging studies have identified structural and functional changes in the brains of individuals with a history of suicidal behavior that may affect regulation of mood, response to stress and decision-making, and these include biochemical deficits in serotonin function and the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis (HPA) stress-response. The authors suggest that these abnormalities could be used in future to develop biomarkers that may help predict who is at risk of taking their own lives, and that may serve as a target for treatment.

Continue reading

Reliance on voluntary sector support for suicide bereavement “unsustainable and inappropriate”

Main Points:

People bereaved by the suicide of a partner and mothers losing an adult child to suicide run a significantly higher risk of suicide compared to people bereaved after sudden deaths from other causes.  The psychological impact on other members of the family is also serious: children who lose a mother to suicide have an increased risk of depression, while people who lose a child to suicide have an increased likelihood of psychiatric admission for mental illness.

Published in:

The Lancet Psychiatry

Study Further:

The findings come from a new Review, published to coincide with the launch of The Lancet Psychiatry journal, reviewing the evidence from 57 studies comparing the effect of suicide bereavement on death, mental health, and social functioning of family members, friends, and other close contacts of the deceased with the effects of other sudden bereavements. Continue reading