Year: 2021 Source: Asia-Pacific Psychiatry. (2021). r12450. SIEC No: 20210213

An increased risk of suicide has been reported for psychiatric patients. In several world regions, an underlying psychiatric disorder is reported in up to 90% of people who die from suicide, though this rate seems to be considerably lower in low- and middle-income countries. Major psychiatric conditions associated with suicidality are mood disorders, alcohol and substance use disorders, borderline personality disorder, and schizophrenia. Comorbidity between different disorders is frequently associated with a higher suicide risk. A history of suicide attempts, feelings of hopelessness, impulsivity and aggression, adverse childhood experiences, severe psychopathology, and somatic disorders are common risk factors for suicide among psychiatric patients. Stressful life events and interpersonal problems, including interpersonal violence, are often triggers. A comprehensive and repeated suicide risk assessment represents the first step for effective suicide prevention. Particular attention should be paid during and after hospitalization, with the first days and weeks after discharge representing the most critical period. Pharmacological treatment of mood disorders and schizophrenia has been shown to have an anti-suicidal effect. A significant reduction of suicidal thoughts and behavior has been reported for cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy. Brief interventions, including psychoeducation and follow-ups, are associated with a decrease in suicide deaths. Further development of
suicide prevention in psychiatric patients will require a better understanding of additional risk and protective factors, such as the role of a person’s decision-making capacity and social support, the role of spiritual and religious interventions, and the reduction of the treatment gap in mental health care.