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Br J Psychiatry. 2006 Feb;188:135-42.

Suicide within 12 months of mental health service contact in different age and diagnostic groups: National clinical survey.

Author information

  • 1Centre for Suicide Prevention, University of Manchester, Williamson Building, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK. Louis.appleby@manchester.ac.uk.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Suicide prevention is a health service priority but the most effective approaches to prevention may differ between different patient groups.

AIMS:

To describe social and clinical characteristics in cases of suicide from different age and diagnostic groups.

METHOD:

A national clinical survey of a 4-year (1996-2000) sample of cases of suicide in England and Wales where there had been recent (<1 year) contact with mental health services (n=4859).

RESULTS:

Deaths of young patients were characterised by jumping from a height or in front of a vehicle, schizophrenia, personality disorder, unemployment and substance misuse. In older patients, drowning, depression, living alone, physical illness, recent bereavement and suicide pacts were more common. People with schizophrenia were often in-patients and died by violent means. About a third of people with depressive disorder died within a year of illness onset. Those with substance dependence or personality disorder had high rates of disengagement from services.

CONCLUSIONS:

Prevention measures likely to benefit young people include targeting schizophrenia, dual diagnosis and loss of service contact; those aimed at depression, isolation and physical ill-health should have more effect on elderly people.

PMID:
16449700
DOI:
10.1192/bjp.188.2.135
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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