Objective: While 90% of suicide victims have suffered from mental health disorders, less than one-half are in contact with a mental health professional in the year preceding their death. Service use in the last year of life of young suicide victims and control subjects was studied in Quebec. We wanted to determine what kinds of health care services were needed and if they were actually received by suicide victims. Method: We recruited 67 consecutive suicide victims and 56 matched living control subjects (aged 25 years and younger). We evaluated subjects’ psychopathological profile and determined which services would have been indicated by conducting a needs assessment. We then compared this with what services were actually received. Results: Suicide victims were more likely than living control subjects to have a psychiatric diagnosis. They were most in need of services to address substance use disorder, depression, interpersonal distress, and suicide-related problems. There were significant deficits in the domains of coordination and continuity of care, mental health promotion and training, and governance. Conclusions: Our results show that we need to urgently take action to address these identified deficits to prevent further loss of life in our young people.
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