Sexual orientation and suicidal behaviour in young people

Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) young people have been found to be at greater risk of suicidal behaviour | The British Journal of Psychiatry

National prevention strategies have identified the need to reduce suicide risk in this population. However, research on specific risk factors for LGB young people that might inform suicide prevention programmes are at an early stage of development.

Full reference:  Meader, N. & Chan, M.K.Y. (2017) Sexual orientation and suicidal behaviour in young people. The British Journal of Psychiatry. Vol. 211 (no. 2) pp. 63-64

Suicide by Children and Young People

Suicide in young people is rarely caused by one thing; it usually follows a combination of previous vulnerability and recent events | University of Manchester

The stresses we have identified before suicide are common in young people; most come through them without serious harm.

Important themes for suicide prevention are support for or management of family factors (e.g. mental illness, physical illness, or substance misuse), childhood abuse, bullying, physical health, social isolation, mental ill-health and alcohol or drug misuse.

Specific actions are needed on groups we have highlighted:

  1. support for young people who are bereaved, especially by suicide
  2. greater priority for mental health in colleges and universities
  3. housing and mental health care for looked after children
  4. mental health support for LGBT young people.

Read the full report here

Suicide in children and young people linked to bereavement, new report finds

National suicide study also calls for better support for students, internet safety and services for children who self-harm.

The National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Health Illness (NCISH)  has published Suicide by children and young people: National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness.

This report examines findings from a range of investigations, such as coroner inquests, into the deaths by suicide of people aged under 25 between January 2014 and December 2015 in England and Wales, extracting information about the stresses they were facing when they died.

  • The report emphasises the emotional impact of bereavement on young people and recommends that bereavement support should be widely available.
  • The researchers call on universities to do more to promote mental health on campus and support students who may be at risk.
  • The study identifies the treatment of self-harm as the most important service response in preventing suicide in young people.

Additional link: HQIP press release

Teenagers turned away by overstretched health services resort to drastic action to get help

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Funding cuts to mental health services have made thresholds for treatment so high that young people are risking their lives in desperate bids to get help, according to the Times Educational Supplement. The article goes on to say that stretched children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) are driving growing numbers of pupils to make what look like suicide attempts just so they can have their mental illness treated.

A survey conducted by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner showed that, of all pupils referred to CAMHS in 2015 (the latest figures available), only 14 per cent were able to access the service immediately.

Meanwhile, 28 per cent of those referred were not allocated a service at all. In some areas, this figure was as high as 75 per cent.

Read the full article: Pupils risking their lives as mental health services collapse

Strategies to prevent death by suicide

Riblet, N.B.V. et al. The British Journal of Psychiatry | Published online: April 2017

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Background: Few randomised controlled trials (RCTs) have shown decreases in suicide.

Results: Among 8647 citations, 72 RCTs and 6 pooled analyses met inclusion criteria.

  • Three RCTs (n = 2028) found that the World Health Organization (WHO) brief intervention and contact (BIC) was associated with significantly lower odds of suicide (OR = 0.20, 95% CI 0.09–0.42).
  • Six RCTs (n = 1040) of cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) for suicide prevention
  • Six RCTs of lithium (n = 619) yielded non-significant findings (OR = 0.34, 95% CI 0.12–1.03 and OR = 0.23, 95% CI 0.05–1.02, respectively).

Conclusions: The WHO BIC is a promising suicide prevention strategy. No other intervention showed a statistically significant effect in reducing suicide.

Read the full abstract here

Relationship Between Predictors of Incident Deliberate Self-Harm and Suicide Attempts

Huang, Y-S. et al. Journal of Adolescent Health. Published online: 31 January 2017

Purpose: Data on the incidence of deliberate self-harm (DSH) and suicide attempts (SAs) are lacking in non-Western adolescents, and no studies have investigated differences in incident DSH and SA worldwide. This study aimed to investigate the incidence rates and relationships between predictors in DSH and SA.

Conclusions: The incidence rates of DSH and SA were similar to those reported in Western countries. The predictors of incident DSH and SA were similar but not identical. Our results highlight the risk factors which should be considered in terms of early identification and intervention among adolescents to prevent suicidality.

Read the full abstract here

Suicide prevention: third annual report

The third progress report of the suicide prevention strategy sets out what’s being done to reduce deaths by suicide in England | Department of Health

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Image source: gov.uk

The third progress report of the cross-government suicide prevention strategy details the activity that has taken place across England to reduce deaths by suicide in the year ending March 2016.

This report is being used to update the 2012 strategy in 5 main areas:

  • expanding the strategy to include self-harm prevention in its own right
  • every local area to produce a multi-agency suicide prevention plan
  • improving suicide bereavement support in order to develop support services
  • better targeting of suicide prevention and help seeking in high risk groups
  • improve data at both the national and local levels

These updates will help to meet the recommendations of the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health relevant to suicide prevention: to reduce the number of suicides by 10% by the year ending March 2021 and for every local area to have a multi-agency suicide prevention plan in place by the end of 2017.

Read the full overview here

Read the full report here