Skip to main content


Causes, treatment and prevention of suicide

Section edited by Ute Lewitzka

This section will cover all aspects of a wide range of suicidality, considering studies of suicidal behaviour, its causes and effects but also its prevention and intervention approaches. Research which investigates psychological and sociological as well as neurobiological, genetic and pharmacological aspects of suicidal behaviour are also of great interest. The section also incorporates topics such as assessment and risk-management approaches, ethical issues in intervention research, cross-cultural risk factors for suicide as well as the needs of those bereaved by suicide.

Page 1 of 3

  1. Content type: Research article

    Opposing risks have been identified between different prosocial activities, with volunteering having been linked to better mental health while caregiving has been associated with higher prevalence and incidenc...

    Authors: Michael Rosato, Foteini Tseliou, David M. Wright, Aideen Maguire and Dermot O’Reilly

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2019 19:296

    Published on:

  2. Content type: Study protocol

    The screening of digital footprint for clinical purposes relies on the capacity of wearable technologies to collect data and extract relevant information’s for patient management. Artificial intelligence (AI) ...

    Authors: Sofian Berrouiguet, María Luisa Barrigón, Jorge Lopez Castroman, Philippe Courtet, Antonio Artés-Rodríguez and Enrique Baca-García

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2019 19:277

    Published on:

  3. Content type: Technical advance

    Suicide has profound effects on families and communities, but is a statistically rare event. Psychological autopsies using a case-control design allow researchers to examine risk factors for suicide, using a v...

    Authors: E. Arensman, C. Larkin, J. McCarthy, S. Leitao, P. Corcoran, E. Williamson, C. McAuliffe, I. J. Perry, E. Griffin, E. M. Cassidy, C. Bradley, N. Kapur, J. Kinahan, A. Cleary, T. Foster, J. Gallagher…

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2019 19:275

    Published on:

  4. Content type: Research article

    Diabetes is a highly prevalent non-communicable disease which is prone to more psychiatric complications like suicide; however, research into this area is limited. Assessing suicidal plan and attempt as well a...

    Authors: Mogesie Necho, Solomon Mekonnen, Kelemua Haile, Mengesha Birkie and Asmare Belete

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2019 19:258

    Published on:

  5. Content type: Study protocol

    Suicide is a serious public health concern. Depression is the main gateway to suicidal behavior. The already established relationship between depression and suicidal risk should now focus on the investigation ...

    Authors: Miquel Roca, Antonio Riera-López del Amo, Pau Riera-Serra, Mª. Angeles Pérez-Ara, Adoración Castro, J. Roman Juan, Mauro García-Toro, Patricia García-Pazo and Margalida Gili

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2019 19:253

    Published on:

  6. Content type: Research article

    Coercive measures is a topic that has long been discussed in the field of psychiatry. Despite global reports of reductions in the use of restraint episodes due to new regulations, it is still questionable if p...

    Authors: Maritta Välimäki, Min Yang, Tero Vahlberg, Tella Lantta, Virve Pekurinen, Minna Anttila and Sharon-Lise Normand

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2019 19:230

    Published on:

  7. Content type: Research article

    Suicidal ideation is an important public health issue due to devastating mortality. In the meantime, interpersonal trust was found to be negatively associated with mental disorder and physical health. Although...

    Authors: Zihang Yu, Lingzhong Xu, Long Sun, Jiao Zhang, Wenzhe Qin, Jiajia Li, Gan Ding, Qian Wang, Jing Zhu and Su Xie

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2019 19:206

    Published on:

  8. Content type: Study protocol

    Worldwide, approximately 800,000 persons die by suicide every year; with rates of suicide attempts estimated to be much higher. Suicidal persons often suffer from a mental disorder but stigma, lack of availabl...

    Authors: Mareike Dreier, Julia Ludwig, Martin Härter, Olaf von dem Knesebeck, Johanna Baumgardt, Thomas Bock, Jörg Dirmaier, Alison J. Kennedy, Susan A. Brumby and Sarah Liebherz

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2019 19:152

    Published on:

  9. Content type: Study protocol

    Construction workers are at elevated risk of suicide. MATES in Construction (MATES) is one of the few suicide prevention programs that explicitly address this problem. The MATES program includes an integrated ...

    Authors: A. Milner, T. L. King, A. J. Scovelle, P. J. Batterham, B. Kelly, A. D. LaMontagne, S. B. Harvey, J. Gullestrup and C. Lockwood

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2019 19:146

    Published on:

  10. Content type: Research article

    Metabolic disturbances have been correlated with suicidality, but little is known about the association between suicide risk and metabolic disturbances among individuals with depression. This study was to eval...

    Authors: Yue-Jiao Ma, Dong-Fang Wang, Ming Yuan, Xiao-Jie Zhang, Jiang Long, Shu-Bao Chen, Qiu-Xia Wu, Xu-Yi Wang, Marguerite Patel, Christopher D. Verrico, Tie-Qiao Liu and Xiang-Yang Zhang

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2019 19:144

    Published on:

  11. Content type: Study protocol

    Suicide is a major public health problem, and it remains unclear which processes link suicidal ideation and plans to the act of suicide. Growing evidence shows that the majority of suicidal patients diagnosed ...

    Authors: J. S. van Bentum, M. Sijbrandij, A. J. F. M. Kerkhof, A. Huisman, A. R. Arntz, E. A. Holmes, G. Franx, J. Mokkenstorm and M. J. H. Huibers

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2019 19:143

    Published on:

  12. Content type: Case report

    Suicidality has been under-researched in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Most studies have linked increased suicidality in ASD to psychiatric comorbidities such as depression. Here we investigated, from a neu...

    Authors: Luisa Weiner, Amandine Flin, Jean-Baptiste Causin, Sébastien Weibel and Gilles Bertschy

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2019 19:126

    Published on:

  13. Content type: Research article

    Members of the public can potentially take action to assist someone in their social network who is distressed and at risk of suicide. The present study used data from a community survey to examine training exp...

    Authors: Anthony F. Jorm, Angela Nicholas, Jane Pirkis, Alyssia Rossetto, Julie-Anne Fischer and Nicola J. Reavley

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2019 19:68

    Published on:

  14. Content type: Research article

    Suicide bereavement is a risk factor for adverse outcomes related to grief, social functioning, mental health and suicidal behaviour. Consequently, suicide bereavement support (i.e., postvention) has been iden...

    Authors: Karl Andriessen, Karolina Krysinska, Nicole T. M. Hill, Lennart Reifels, Jo Robinson, Nicola Reavley and Jane Pirkis

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2019 19:49

    Published on:

  15. Content type: Research article

    There is evidence that several intervention types, including psychotherapy, reduce repeat suicide attempts. However, these interventions are less applicable to the heterogeneous patients admitted to emergency ...

    Authors: Masatoshi Inagaki, Yoshitaka Kawashima, Naohiro Yonemoto and Mitsuhiko Yamada

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2019 19:44

    Published on:

  16. Content type: Research article

    Physical illness and mental disorders play a significant role in fatal and non-fatal suicidal behaviour. However, there is no clear evidence for the effect of physical and mental illness co-occurrence (multimo...

    Authors: Katerina Kavalidouª, Daniel J. Smith, Geoff Der and Rory C. O’Connor

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2019 19:38

    Published on:

  17. Content type: Research article

    There are an estimated 258 million international migrants worldwide. In Asia low-skilled workers often emigrate on a temporary basis (2–3 years) without their families. There is significant concern over the me...

    Authors: Duleeka Knipe, Helen Lambert, Melissa Pearson, Michael Eddleston, Shaluka Jayamanne, Kolitha Wickramage, Keith Hawton, Flemming Konradsen, Chris Metcalfe and David Gunnell

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2019 19:25

    Published on:

  18. Content type: Research article

    For those who have experienced suicidal behaviour, discharge from the hospital emergency department and other acute settings represents a period of heightened vulnerability for future suicide risk. Current gui...

    Authors: Nicole T. M. Hill, Fiona Shand, Michelle Torok, Lyndal Halliday and Nicola J. Reavley

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2019 19:6

    Published on:

  19. Content type: Research article

    Bipolar and other psychiatric disorders are associated with considerably increased risk of suicidal behaviour, which may include self-poisoning with medication used to treat the disorder. Therefore, choice of ...

    Authors: Anne E. Ferrey, Galit Geulayov, Deborah Casey, Claudia Wells, Alice Fuller, Clare Bankhead, Jennifer Ness, Caroline Clements, David Gunnell, Navneet Kapur and Keith Hawton

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2018 18:399

    Published on:

  20. Content type: Research article

    Worldwide, the elderly are at a greater risk of suicide than other age groups. There is a paucity of research exploring risk factors for suicide in hospitalized elderly patients. Therefore, a study designed to...

    Authors: Su-Jung Liao, Bo-Jian Wu, Tse-Tsung Liu, Chao-Ping Chou and Jiin-Ru Rong

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2018 18:397

    Published on:

  21. Content type: Research article

    Suicidal ideation and suicidal risk assessment are major concerns for health professionals. The perception of a low level of parental support is a risk factor for suicidal tendencies among adolescents, but lit...

    Authors: Melissa Macalli, Marie Tournier, Cédric Galéra, Ilaria Montagni, Aicha Soumare, Sylvana M. Côté and Christophe Tzourio

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2018 18:373

    Published on:

  22. Content type: Research article

    Suicide is higher among adults with disabilities compared to their counterparts without disabilities and suicide is mostly preceded with suicidal ideations. For each successful suicide, there could be many ide...

    Authors: Angela Kwartemaa Acheampong and Lydia Aziato

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2018 18:360

    Published on:

  23. Content type: Research article

    Recently, suicides in Greece have drawn national and international interest due to the current economic crisis. According to published reports, suicides in Greece have increased up to 40% and Crete has been hi...

    Authors: Maria Basta, Alexandros Vgontzas, Anastasia Kastanaki, Manolis Michalodimitrakis, Katerina Kanaki, Katerina Koutra, Maria Anastasaki and Panagiotis Simos

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2018 18:356

    Published on:

  24. Content type: Research article

    Suicide is a global problem and suicidal behavior is common in acute psychiatric wards. Inpatient suicides regularly occur with 10.4/100,000 such deaths recorded in the UK in 2016. Inpatient suicides are poten...

    Authors: Yvonne F Awenat, Sarah Peters, Patricia A Gooding, Daniel Pratt, Emma Shaw-Núñez, Kamelia Harris and Gillian Haddock

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2018 18:334

    Published on:

  25. Content type: Research article

    The Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) is a relatively new instrument for the assessment of suicidal ideation and behaviour that is widely used in clinical and research settings. The predictive pr...

    Authors: Åsa U. Lindh, Margda Waern, Karin Beckman, Ellinor Salander Renberg, Marie Dahlin and Bo Runeson

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2018 18:319

    Published on:

  26. Content type: Research article

    Suicidal ideation is common in patients suffering from panic disorder. The present study investigated rates of suicidal ideation and risk factors for suicidal ideation in a sample of primary care patients suff...

    Authors: Tobias Teismann, Karoline Lukaschek, Thomas S. Hiller, Jörg Breitbart, Christian Brettschneider, Ulrike Schumacher, Jürgen Margraf and Jochen Gensichen

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2018 18:305

    Published on:

  27. Content type: Research article

    This study was designed to assess the factor structure, internal consistency reliability, and preliminary psychometric properties of the Chinese version of the Future Disposition Inventory-24 (FDI-24) in a lar...

    Authors: Lu Yuan, Dong-Fang Wang, Bob Lew, Augustine Osman and Cun-Xian Jia

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2018 18:299

    Published on:

  28. Content type: Research article

    Previous studies have identified factors associated with admission to hospital after suicide spectrum behaviors. In this study, we aim to identify specific factors associated with psychiatric hospitalization a...

    Authors: Juliette Salles, Julie Calonge, Nicolas Franchitto, Emmanuelle Bougon and Laurent Schmitt

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2018 18:287

    Published on:

  29. Content type: Research article

    Suicide accounts for approximately 1.4% of deaths globally and is the 15th leading cause of death overall. There are no reliable data on the epidemiology of completed suicide in rural areas of many developing ...

    Authors: Mary A. Bitta, Ioannis Bakolis, Symon M. Kariuki, Gideon Nyutu, George Mochama, Graham Thornicroft and Charles R. J. C. Newton

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2018 18:267

    Published on:

  30. Content type: Research article

    Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI), which involves self-damaging behavior (e.g., cutting) causes tissue damage and places people at elevated risk for future suicidal behaviors. Yet few specific treatments for NSSI...

    Authors: Jill M. Hooley, Kathryn R. Fox, Shirley B. Wang and Anita N. D. Kwashie

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2018 18:264

    Published on:

  31. Content type: Research article

    The internal suicide debate hypothesis assumes that in a suicidal crisis, individuals are involved in an internal struggle over whether to live or die. Reasons for living (RFL) and Reasons for dying (RFD) are ...

    Authors: Juliane Brüdern, Annabarbara Stähli, Anja Gysin-Maillart, Konrad Michel, Thomas Reisch, David A. Jobes and Jeannette Brodbeck

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2018 18:234

    Published on:

  32. Content type: Research article

    Suicide is a leading cause of death among Indigenous Australians. Friends, family and frontline workers (for example, teachers, youth workers) are often best positioned to provide initial assistance if someone...

    Authors: Gregory Armstrong, Natalie Ironfield, Claire M. Kelly, Katrina Dart, Kerry Arabena, Kathy Bond, Nicola Reavley and Anthony F. Jorm

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2018 18:228

    Published on:

  33. Content type: Research article

    Research on the relationship between insomnia and nightmares, and suicidal ideation (SI) has produced variable findings, especially with regard to military samples. This study investigates whether depression m...

    Authors: J. Don Richardson, Lisa King, Kate St. Cyr, Philippe Shnaider, Maya L. Roth, Felicia Ketcheson, Ken Balderson and Jon D. Elhai

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2018 18:204

    Published on:

  34. Content type: Research article

    Adolescents treated for self-poisoning with medication have a high prevalence of mental health problems and constitute a high-risk population for self-harm repetition. However, little is known about whether th...

    Authors: Ping Qin, Shihua Sun, Anne Seljenes Bøe, Barbara Stanley and Lars Mehlum

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2018 18:200

    Published on:

  35. Content type: Research article

    When a person is in severe distress, people in their social network can potentially take action to reduce the person’s suicide risk. The present study used data from a community survey to examine whether peopl...

    Authors: Anthony F. Jorm, Angela Nicholas, Jane Pirkis, Alyssia Rossetto and Nicola J. Reavley

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2018 18:132

    Published on:

  36. Content type: Research article

    Few studies have focused on exploring the association of self-efficacy and suicidal behaviour. In this study, we aim to investigate the association between health-related self-efficacy and suicidality outcomes...

    Authors: Vivian Isaac, Chia-Yi Wu, Craig S. McLachlan and Ming-Been Lee

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2018 18:126

    Published on:

  37. Content type: Study protocol

    Since 2010, suicide has been the most important cause of mortality in youth aged 15 to 29 years in the Netherlands. Depression is an important risk factor for suicidal behaviors (i.e., suicide ideation, delibe...

    Authors: Mandy W. M. Gijzen, Daan H. M. Creemers, Sanne P. A. Rasing, Filip Smit and Rutger C. M. E. Engels

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2018 18:124

    Published on:

  38. Content type: Research article

    Every year, more than 800,000 people worldwide die by suicide. The aim of this study was to conduct a systematic review of the effectiveness of brief psychological interventions in addressing suicidal thoughts...

    Authors: Rose McCabe, Ruth Garside, Amy Backhouse and Penny Xanthopoulou

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2018 18:120

    Published on:

  39. Content type: Research article

    There is a lack of evidence for the role of loneliness on suicide using psychological autopsy method, and the validity of proxy informants’ reports on loneliness is not well established. This study aimed to in...

    Authors: Lu Niu, Cunxian Jia, Zhenyu Ma, Guojun Wang, Zhenjun Yu and Liang Zhou

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2018 18:116

    Published on:

  40. Content type: Research article

    Risk scales are used widely in the management of patients presenting to hospital following self-harm. However, there is evidence that their diagnostic accuracy in predicting repeat self-harm is limited. Their ...

    Authors: Sarah Steeg, Leah Quinlivan, Rebecca Nowland, Robert Carroll, Deborah Casey, Caroline Clements, Jayne Cooper, Linda Davies, Duleeka Knipe, Jennifer Ness, Rory C. O’Connor, Keith Hawton, David Gunnell and Nav Kapur

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2018 18:113

    Published on:

  41. Content type: Research article

    In Japan, although many suicidal studies were previously conducted in tertiary emergency department (ED) settings, no published studies have reported on suicidal patients presenting to the secondary EDs. The a...

    Authors: Izumi Chihara, Ryusuke Ae, Yuka Kudo, Ritei Uehara, Nobuko Makino, Yuri Matsubara, Teppei Sasahara, Yasuko Aoyama, Kazuhiko Kotani and Yosikazu Nakamura

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2018 18:112

    Published on:

  42. Content type: Research article

    The Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS) has been the most frequently used instrument for the measurement of hopelessness in the past 40 years. Only recently has it officially been translated into German. The psychom...

    Authors: Sören Kliem, Anna Lohmann, Thomas Mößle and Elmar Brähler

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2018 18:110

    Published on:

  43. Content type: Research article

    Suicide within the Amerindian community of Camopi (1741 inhabitants) in French Guiana has been an increasing problem widely reported in the media leading the French Government to mandate a parliamentary missio...

    Authors: Rémi Pacot, Basma Garmit, Marianne Pradem, Mathieu Nacher and Paul Brousse

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2018 18:99

    Published on: