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Indian J Psychiatry. 2004 Oct;46(4):310-8.

Non-fatal suicidal behaviors in adolescents.

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Associate Professor, Dept. of Psychiatry, G.B. Pant Hospital, JLN Marg, Delhi 110 001.


In the USA, suicide ranked as the third leading cause of death for adolescents in 1999. Non-fatal suicidal behaviours are suicidal thought, specific suicidal plan and suicide attempt. Prospective studies have emphasized the high subsequent suicide rates in clinically presenting suicide attempters. This study was planned to critically review the existing international literature on this area, and compare, if possible, with the Indian data. Both electronic and manual search for published and unpublished works was done for the review of this area. Both international and Indian studies on prevalence, risk factors, management, and prevention of non-fatal suicidal behaviours in adolescents were collected, analysed and reviewed. The study concludes that professionals, like general practitioners, paediatricians, school teachers, school counselors, need to be trained in identifying non-fatal suicidal behaviours in adolescents, and know when to refer them to a mental health professional or mental health service for thorough assessment and effective management. Timely and efficient management of non-fatal suicidal behaviors can prevent future suicidal attempts and completed suicide in most of this highly vulnerable population. Indian studies are very few and without robust study design. Systematic studies in India on this important topic are required.


adolescents; suicidal ideation; suicide; suicide attempt

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