Data concerning all suicide cases in Denmark with a psychiatric history (1971-81) were compiled. 21% of the suicides took place while the patient in hospital. The overall rates increased slightly faster than in the whole population. A sharp relative increase in suicide mortality in the provincial and rural populations was noted. 10% of the suicide victims were characterized by affective reactions or no psychiatric illness. 37% of the men & 18% of the women suicides were substance abusers.