Thursday, May 31, 2007

Suicide in psychiatric hospitals

There are between 150 and 200 suicides by mental health-inpatients each year in England and Wales, a figure which might be reduceable given the close proximity of mental-health professionals at the time. A study of the 222 patients who killed themselves between the first of April 1999 and the 31 December 2000 looked into the circumstances and risk factors around people's suicides. Nearly a quarter of the suicides took place within the first week of admission with most people dying on the ward or after absconding. After the first week, however, most suicides took place away from the ward, while the patients were on 'leave'. Previous self-harm, recent adverse life events and symptoms of mental illness were all associated with suicide and being off the ward without staff consent was a particularly strong predictor. Other predictors of in-patient suicide were being male, being diagnosed with depression and a history of self-harm.

Hunt, Isabelle M. ... [et al] - Suicide in current psychiatric in-patients : a case-control study Psychological Medicine June 2007, 37(6), 831-837

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