New report shows suicide by mental health patients on the rise
The National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness from the University of Manchester released its Annual Report this week, and concluded that suicide by mental health patients has risen.
According to the report, "The proportion of patients dying by suicide who are unemployed has risen in England and Northern Ireland.... a substantial proportion of these deaths occur in patients who live alone or have refused treatment."
There was a 13% surge in suicides by mental health patients from 2010 to 2011 in England. In a small but significant number of these cases, the risk of suicide was recognised but appropriate management was not put in place.
Suicides by in-patients continue to fall.
The report recommends that relevant services should address the economic difficulties of patients who might be at risk of suicide, ensuring they receive advice on debts, housing and employment. It also recommends that safety efforts need to focus on patients receiving home treatment, including better assessment of risk.
Professor Louis Appleby, Director of the National Confidential Inquiry, said: "Ensuring patients receive advice on debts, housing and employment could make a difference, while improvements in home treatment should now become a priority for suicide prevention."