Nav: Home

Suicides under crisis services lead to concerns over pressures on mental health care

October 05, 2016

Over 200 suicide deaths per year now occur in patients under mental health crisis teams, three times as many as in in-patients, according to a report by The University of Manchester's National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness (NCISH).

One third of patients under crisis resolution/home treatment (CRHT) who died by suicide had been using the service for less than a week, and a third had been discharged from hospital in the previous two weeks. The report questions whether CRHT was the most suitable setting for their care, and raises concerns that crisis teams are increasingly used due to pressure on other acute services, particularly in-patient beds.

Professor Louis Appleby, Director of NCISH, said: "This year's report reflects the increasing reliance on crisis teams in response to the strains felt by acute mental health services. Our findings suggest that we are accepting too much risk in the home treatment these teams offer, and that the crisis team is now the priority for suicide prevention in mental health."

The authors also found that over half the 1700 mental health patients per year who died by suicide across the UK had a history of alcohol or drug misuse. However, only a small proportion had received specialist substance misuse treatment, suggesting a need for these services to be more widely available, working more closely with mainstream mental health care.

Professor Appleby said "The report looks at the growing impact of economic adversity. More patients who died by suicide were reported as having been unemployed or homeless, and 13% had experienced serious financial difficulties in the previous 3 months. We also identified a rising incidence of suicides by patients who had been in the UK for less than 5 years who may be less well connected to services that could support them."

The team reviewed 20 years of evidence from National Confidential Inquiry research, and found a changing pattern of risk factors facing mental health patients, with higher rates of isolation, recent self-harm, alcohol and drug misuse and economic adversity in those who died by suicide. They also found improvements in some aspects of suicide prevention, such as ward safety and acceptance of medication.

Professor Nav Kapur, Head of Suicide Research at NCISH said "The 20 year review has helped us to identify ways in which mental health care is safer for patients. We now know what services can do to reduce suicide risk, for example care planning and early follow-up on discharge from hospital, personalised risk management without routine checklists, and implementing guidance on depression and self-harm".

NCISH also report on homicide by people who have been in contact with mental health services. The figures show a fall in patient homicides overall but a possible increase by patients with schizophrenia In England since 2009.

Professor Jenny Shaw, Head of Homicide Research, said "The numbers are small, so it is difficult to confirm a clear pattern, but it may be that homicides in this group have risen. Services can help by addressing drug and alcohol misuse and ensuring that contact is maintained for those patients who are likely to disengage from mental health care".

The Mental Health Clinical Review Outcome Programme, delivered by NCISH, is commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) on behalf of NHS England, NHS Wales, the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorate, the Northern Ireland Department of Health, the States of Guernsey and the States of Jersey.
-end-
Notes to editors

Interviews with Professor Louis Appleby and the team can be arranged by contacting James Bates on the numbers/email below. They are available prior to and post embargo period (any interviews prior to the embargo date are subject to the provisions of the embargo).

University of Manchester

Related Mental Health Articles:

Food insecurity can affect your mental health
Food insecurity (FI) affects nearly 795 million people worldwide. Although a complex phenomenon encompassing food availability, affordability, utilization, and even the social norms that define acceptable ways to acquire food, FI can affect people's health beyond its impact on nutrition.
Climate change's toll on mental health
When people think about climate change, they probably think first about its effects on the environment, and possibly on their physical health.
Quantifying nature's mental health benefits
The BioScience Talks podcast features discussions of topical issues related to the biological sciences.
Sexism may be harmful to men's mental health
Men who see themselves as playboys or as having power over women are more likely to have psychological problems than men who conform less to traditionally masculine norms, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.
Mental health matters
UCSB researchers study the effectiveness of an innovative program designed to help youth learn about mental health.
Could mental math boost emotional health?
Engaging the brain's dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DL-PFC) while doing mental math may be connected with better emotional health, according to Duke researchers.
Program will train mental health providers, improve health care in rural Missouri
A new graduate education program at the University of Missouri has received nearly $700,000 from the Health Resources and Services Administration in the US Department of Health and Human Services to train psychology doctoral candidates in integrated, primary health care settings, in an effort to improve health care for underserved populations with mental health and physical disorders.
Loss of employer-based health insurance in early retirement affects mental, physical health
The loss of private health insurance from an employer can lead to poorer mental and physical health as older adults transition to early retirement, according to a study by Georgia State University.
Ocean views linked to better mental health
Here's another reason to start saving for that beach house: new research suggests that residents with a view of the water are less stressed.
New study shows electronic health records often capture incomplete mental health data
This study compares information available in a typical electronic health record (EHR) with data from insurance claims, focusing on diagnoses, visits, and hospital care for depression and bipolar disorder.

Related Mental Health Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Digital Manipulation
Technology has reshaped our lives in amazing ways. But at what cost? This hour, TED speakers reveal how what we see, read, believe — even how we vote — can be manipulated by the technology we use. Guests include journalist Carole Cadwalladr, consumer advocate Finn Myrstad, writer and marketing professor Scott Galloway, behavioral designer Nir Eyal, and computer graphics researcher Doug Roble.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#529 Do You Really Want to Find Out Who's Your Daddy?
At least some of you by now have probably spit into a tube and mailed it off to find out who your closest relatives are, where you might be from, and what terrible diseases might await you. But what exactly did you find out? And what did you give away? In this live panel at Awesome Con we bring in science writer Tina Saey to talk about all her DNA testing, and bioethicist Debra Mathews, to determine whether Tina should have done it at all. Related links: What FamilyTreeDNA sharing genetic data with police means for you Crime solvers embraced...