Preventing suicide in youth with intellectual and neurodevelopmental disorders: Lessons learned and policy recommendations (IN: Youth Suicide Prevention and Intervention, edited by J.P. Ackerman & L.M. Horowitz)

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by social communication defcits and the presence of repetitive and restricted behaviors. Based on tracking of 8-year-old children within 11  communities in the USA, 1 in 54 children was identifed with ASD in 2016 by the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network (Maenner et […]

Suicide amongst people with intellectual disability: An Australian online study of disability support staff experiences and perceptions.

Background Individuals with intellectual disability (ID) have a higher likelihood of exposure to identified risk factors for suicide when compared with the general community and have been recognised as being both capable of forming intent for suicide and acting on this intent. However, in spite of research outlining these concerns from the 1970s, there remains […]

A systematic review of suicidality in people with intellectual disabilities.

Background: Suicidality in people with intellectual disability has not been extensively researched. Aim: To identify the nature of the research that has actually been conducted on this topic. Method: A search of research databases was conducted according to predefined criteria. Key information was extracted and rated for methodological merit. Results: Twenty-four studies met the inclusion […]

Suicide risk in youth with intellectual disabilities: The challenges of screening.

Children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities (ID), often diagnosed with co-morbid psychiatric disorders, are a vulnerable population who may be at risk for developing suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Previous research has demonstrated that direct suicide screening can rapidly and effectively detect suicide risk and facilitate further clinical evaluation and management. Currently, there are no measures […]

Suicidality in a clinical and community sample of adults with mental retardation.

Suicidal ideation and suicidal gestures are evident in adults with mental retardation, including individuals not receiving mental health services currently, and that psychosocial correlates of suicidality are similar to those noted in the general population. Adults with mental retardation who report thinking that life is not worth living should be a target group for future […]

Suicide behavior in persons with intellectual disability.

Suicide is today in the Western world one of the leading causes of death and most people have had suicidal ideation at some time during their life. In the population of persons with intellectual disability some researchers have thought that impaired intellectual capacity could act as a buffer to suicidal behavior, but the fact is […]

Putting developmental disability on the suicide prevention agenda.

Developmental disability encompasses a diverse range of conditions. This population is vulnerable to physiological, psychological, social, economic, and environmental correlates associated with suicide risk (Lunsky, 2004), and individuals with developmental disabilities die by suicide and manifest suicidal behaviors (Lunsky, 2004; Merrick et al., 2005). However,given their proximity to families, caregivers, and providers, suicide should be […]

Suicidality among adults with intellectual disability.

From a sample of 751 adults with intellectual disabilities who experienced a crisis, demographic and clinical profiles of 39 adults who threatened to commit suicide were compared to 28 adults who attempted suicide. These individuals were then compared to 337 adults who behaved aggressively toward others. Individuals who attempted suicide appeared similar to those who […]

Correlates of emotional distress in out-of-home youth.


A Review of Suicidality in Persons With Intellectual Disability


Peter Singer and Non-Voluntary ‘Euthanasia’: Tripping Down the Slippery Slopes

Killing While Caring: the Nurses of Hadamar

This article examines the participation of nurses in the euthanasia program as it existed in the time of National Socialism in Germany & describes the participation of nurses at one of the 6 killing centers, Hadamar, located near Frankfurt, Germany. The authors assert that over 10,000 mentally & physically handicapped patients were killed by nurses […]

Mentally Abnormal Offenders: Manner of Death

A 23 year follow up of deaths in a population of mentally disordered patients was carried out, & a typical case history is reported. A quarter of the deaths reported were unnatural, with verdicts of suicide or accidental death or open verdicts having been reported. For men in most age groups the proportion of deaths […]

Health Risk Behaviors of African American Adolescents With Mild Mental Retardation: Prevalence Depends on Measurement Method

Health risk behaviors (including suicide) of 194 14- to 17-year-old African American urban adolescents with mild mental retardation were measured using two different methods. In comparison to national & state populations of African American adolescents, they were found to be at substantially elevated risk for engaging in alcohol binge drinking & weapon & gun carrying. […]

Mortality in the Mentally Handicapped: a 50 Year Survey at the Stoke Park Group of Hospitals (1930-1980)

Suicidal Behavior in Children and Adolescents With Developmental Disorders

This study examined suicidality in a clinically referred sample of children & adolescents with developmental disorders. 47 patients (20%) experienced either suicidal ideation, threats or attempts with hanging being the most frequent method considered. Suicidality was more often encountered in individuals with oppositional defiant disorder, depressive disorders, & posttraumatic stress disorder, & less often in […]

Suicidal Behavior in Children and Adolescents With Mental Retardation

This study examined the existence of suicidal behaviour among 90 consecutive admissions to a specialty unit for dually diagnosed children & adolescents in a children’s psychiatric hospital. Suicidal behavior was a presenting complaint upon admission or during hospitalization for 19 patients. Suicidality was distributed across gender, level of mental retardation & psychiatric diagnosis. Results suggest […]

Two Cases of Suicide Attempt by Patients With Down’s Syndrome

This report documents cases of suicide attempts by two persons with Down’s syndrome. The patients experienced dysphoric affect & feelings of hopelessness about unmet needs associatd with their disability. During the course of a major depressive episode, each individual made an attempt that could have been fatal. It is vitally important that mental health practitioners […]

Suicide as an Outcome for Mental Disorders: a Meta-Analysis

Mental disorders have a strong association with suicide. This statistical overview of the literature gives an estimate of the suicide risk of the common mental disorders. Article states that if the results can be generalized, then virtually all mental disorder patients have an increased risk of suicide, except mental retardation & dementia. Risk is highest […]

Death and People With Learning Disabilities: Interventions to Support Clients and Carers

The needs of people with learning disabilities who are bereaved have been acknowledged in the last decade. There is more understanding of the ways to meet these needs. Caregivers need training & support when working with people who are dying or bereaved. This paper reviews the relevant literature, offers guidelines for practice & highlights areas […]

Suicidal Threats and Behavior in a Person With Developmental Disabilities: Effective Psychiatric Monitoring Based on a Fundamental Assessment

A case is presented of a 39-year-old man with moderate mental retardation & psychiatric disorders who exhibited suicidal threats & behaviours. A functional assessment showed that these behaviours were socially mediated operant behaviours in a person with poor impulse control. A psychiatric monitoring procedure involved asking for a no harm agreement following suicidal episodes, social […]

Affective Disorders in Hospitalized Children and Adolescents With Mental Retardation: a Retrospective Study

A sample of 50 psychiatric inpatient children & adolescents with affective disorders & mental retardation were compared to 50 inpatients with mental retardation without depression. Behavioural symptoms such as suicidal ideation or gestures occurred significantly more often in the affective group than in the comparison group (42% vs. 14%). Aggression was the most frequent behaviour […]

Symptoms of Major Depression in Mentally Retarded Adults

32 mentally retarded adults currently suffering from major depression were examined for the prevalence of typical & atypical depressive symptoms. Research was carried out in Hamburg, Germany. Roughly every fourth patient was rated as suicidal; at least two had made a suicide attempt during the current depressive episode. Symptoms were found that were not covered […]