Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Report finds murders up (but still rare) and suicides down

The latest annual report from the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by people with mental illness has found that the number of murders by mentally-ill people rose between 1997 and 2005 but that less mentally-ill people killed themselves. The University of Manchester carries out the research for the report with funding from the National Patient Safety Agency. The study found that murders by mentally-ill people rose from 54 in 1997 to over 70 in 2004 and 2005. People with schizophrenia killed 25 people in 1997 and 46 in 2004. The risk of being killed by someone who has schizophrenia is still very small though - about 1 in 20,000. The number of inpatients killing themselves fell from 219 in 1997 to 141 in 2006, however, in the ten years up to 2006 there were 469 suicides by patients who had left a ward without permission. There was also an increase in the number of sudden unexplained deaths among inpatients - 338 in the eight years up to 2006.

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