Mental Health Services Should Aim To Improve Safety To Prevent Suicide And Homicide

May 07, 1999

(Suicide within 12 months of contact with mental health services: national clinical survey)

(Mental disorder and clinical care in people convicted of homicide: national clinical survey)

(Suicide and homicide by people with mental illness)

About 1000 people who commit suicide each year (nearly a quarter of all suicides) and about 40 of those who commit homicide (about eight per cent of all UK homicides) have had some contact with the mental health services in the year before death suggest researchers in two papers in this week's BMJ. The team from the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness, at the University of Manchester base their finding on detailed clinical data collected on a sample of people in England and Wales who committed suicide during a two year period or who committed homicide during 18 months.

The authors say that their amalgamated findings highlight problems of non-compliance with medication regimens, loss of contact between patients and mental health services and drug and alcohol misuse. They say that these problems emphasise the need to develop strategies for preventing such tragic incidents.

In an accompanying editorial Dr John Geddes from the Warneford Hospital in Oxford says that the full 1999 inquiry report 'Safer Services' makes 31 recommendations for changes in clinical practice. These include recommendations about training in risk assessment, documentation (including the introduction of "patient passports"), the use of specific drug and psychological treatments, reducing access to means of suicide and changes in the Mental Health Act to allow compulsory community treatment. He warns that policymakers should be cautious about implementing these wide-ranging recommendations. He says that there are substantial uncertainties largely unacknowledged in the report about the current knowledge about suicide prevention and he says that these uncertainties present a need for further research.

Geddes also suggests that individual local inquiries into homicide should be discontinued because they are retrospective and foster a simplistic notion of the preventability of homicides and suicides.

Contact:

Professor Louis Appleby, Director, National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness, School of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, University of Manchester, Withington Hospital, Manchester M20 8LR Louis.Appleby@man.ac.uk

Dr John Geddes, Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Warneford Hospital, Oxford john.geddes@psych.ox.ac.uk Mental Health Services Should Aim to Improve Safety to Prevent Suicide and Homicide - But Retrospective Inquiries Should Be Discontinued About 1000 people who commit suicide each year (nearly a quarter of all suicides) and about 40 of those who commit homicide (about eight per cent of all UK homicides) have had some contact with the mental health services in the year before death, suggest researchers in two papers in this week's BMJ. An accompanying editorial suggests caution in implementing changes in clinical practice as listed in the 1999 inquiry report 'Safer Services'.
-end-


BMJ

Related Suicide Articles from Brightsurf:

Suicide prevention in COVID-19 era
COVID-19 presents a new and urgent opportunity to focus political will, federal investments, and global community on the vital imperative of suicide prevention.

Racial discrimination linked to suicide
New research findings from the University of Houston indicate that racial discrimination is so painful that it is linked to the ability to die by suicide, a presumed prerequisite for being able to take one's own life, and certain mental health tools - like reframing an incident - can help.

Factors associated with firearm suicide risk
Researchers compared the risk of suicide by firearm based on sociodemographic characteristics of US adults.

Suicide mortality and COVID-19
Reasons why U.S. suicide rates may rise in tandem with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic are explained in this article that also describes opportunities to expand research and care.

Media reports of celebrity suicide linked to increased suicide rates
Media reporting of suicide, especially celebrity suicides, is associated with increases in suicide in the general population, particularly by the same method as used by the celebrity, finds an analysis of the latest evidence published by The BMJ today.

More youth suicide found in poor communities across US
A study led by Jennifer Hoffmann, M.D., from Ann & Robert H.

BU study finds new factors linked to suicide
A new study led by Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers finds that physical illness and injury raises the risk of suicide in men but not women, along with a plethora of other insights into the complex factors that may increase a person's risk of suicide.

Investigating the full spectrum of suicide
A recent study published in Injury Prevention described a method for categorizing self-injury mortality (SIM) to help us better examine national trends for today's epidemics of suicide and drug-related deaths.

Between 16 and 18% of preadolescents have ideas of suicide
Thinking of taking one's own life (ideation), planning it, threatening to do it or even attempting to do it is regarded as suicidal behaviour.

Social networks and suicide prevention
Depression and mental health problems are increasing - and suicide and drug overdose rates are rising dramatically in the USA.

Read More: Suicide News and Suicide Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.