Around 60 percent of people who contemplate or attempt suicide do not receive treatment

In a Review, published to coincide with the launch of The Lancet Psychiatry journal, Professor Rory O'Connor from the University of Glasgow and Professor Matthew K. Nock from Harvard University review the key psychological factors that may contribute to, or protect against, suicidal behaviour including personality differences, cognitive factors, and negative life events such as serious physical illness, as well as current psychological treatments. Evidence suggests that about 60% of people struggling with suicidal thoughts or behaviour do not receive any help, and, surprisingly, there is relatively little evidence for the effectiveness of treatments received by those who do. The authors conclude by calling for more research into novel psychological and psychosocial treatments.

According to Professor O'Connor, "Although a range of risk factors that contribute to have been identified, it is not clear how or why these factors work together to increase the risk of suicidal behaviour and there is little known about what protects against suicide among those who are vulnerable. Further studies are urgently needed to develop psychological treatments for those at risk of suicide alongside efforts to eliminate barriers that lead to underuse of mental health resources."

Professor Nock adds, "As a field, we have made significant advances in our understanding of suicidal behaviour in recent years. We now have a strong foundation of knowledge about suicidal behaviour on which to build, as well as some exciting new findings about psychological factors that seem to put people at risk for thinking about suicide, and other factors that increase their likelihood of acting on suicidal thoughts. It is vitally important that we as a society invest heavily in making further advances so that we can start to decrease the suffering and loss of life due to suicidal behaviour."

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

CAMH study confirms genetic link to suicidal behavior

Oct 07, 2011

A new study from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health has found evidence that a specific gene is linked to suicidal behaviour, adding to our knowledge of the many complex causes of suicide. This research may help doctors ...

Sociology professors asks 'Is teenage suicide contagious?'

Apr 11, 2014

A paper on teenage suicide written by two assistant professors of sociology at the University of Memphis will be published in the field's flagship journal, the American Sociological Review, in April. "Are Suicidal Behavi ...

Recommended for you

What sign language teaches us about the brain

3 hours ago

The world's leading humanoid robot, ASIMO, has recently learnt sign language. The news of this breakthrough came just as I completed Level 1 of British Sign Language (I dare say it took me longer to master signing ...

Why do men prefer nice women?

3 hours ago

People's emotional reactions and desires in initial romantic encounters determine the fate of a potential relationship. Responsiveness may be one of those initial "sparks" necessary to fuel sexual desire and land a second ...

Study reveals how to be socially successful

3 hours ago

Romantic, personal and professional relationships are fraught with danger, but a University of Queensland researcher has found the secret to interacting successfully with others in such settings.

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

IggyDalrymple
not rated yet May 03, 2014
'cause treatment is a cruel joke. My relative felt suicidal, and checked into a recommended clinic. It was just like the "Snakepit" movie 60 years ago. She was tossed into a ward full of sick people who were rewarded with cigarettes to behave. Next time, she'll likely choose the other alternative.