Year: 2009 Source: Journal of Community Psychology, v.37, no.1, (2009), p.73-87 SIEC No: 20090759

This study tested for associations between psychiatrist availability, social disintegration, & suicide rates. Data were utilized from the 2002 Area Resource File on 3,080 American counties. Suicide rates were averaged over 6 years, 1990-1995. Poisson & negative binomial regression models were used to assess the association of psychiatrist availability & suicide rate ratios. Availability of psychiatrists was significantly related to suicide. Divorce strongly elevated suicide rates. Increases in psychiatrists reduced suicide rates, but the association was small. Psychiatrist availability may also partially reduce the effects of social disintegration at the county level. Results suggest greater mental health promotion might reduce area inequalities in suicide rates. (62 refs.)