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Crisis. 2012 Jan 1;33(3):127-36. doi: 10.1027/0227-5910/a000113.

Lifetime risk of suicidal behaviors and communication to a health professional about suicidal ideation. Results from a large survey of the French adult population.

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  • 1Center for Research and Intervention on Suicide and Euthanasia, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal,



There is presently a lack of information on the role of healthcare in suicidal ideation in adults.


To assess the frequencies, patterns, and factors associated with the communication of suicidal ideation toward a health professional.


Participants stem from a French cross-sectional survey of 22,133 randomly selected adults. Lifetime suicidal behaviors and 12-month mental disorder patterns were assessed using the short form of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Participants with suicidal ideation were asked whether they had talked about it and, if they had, to whom.


Around 20% of people with suicidal ideation had talked about this distress to a health professional. It was more frequent for people with more severe suicidal behaviors (plan or a prior attempt), among women, those aged 30 or more, those suffering from major depressive episode, panic disorder, or drug use disorder. Above all, it was more frequent among those who had also talked to friends or relatives.


Prevention strategies that encourage suicidal persons to seek help for their distress, whoever that is, may be the more important strategies to develop.

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