By On February 5th, 2008

Suicide Risk Consistent in World Survey

The risk factors for suicide were found to be consistent according to a study released by the World Health Organization (WHO). The study involved face-to-face interviews with 84,850 participants in 17 countries. Approximately 9% reported they had "seriously thought about suicide" and 3% that they had made an attempt. The risk factors were consistent from, country to country. The risk factors were: having a mental illness, being female, being younger, less educated and unmarried. The rates varied from country to country; ranging from 3.1% in China to 15.9% in New Zealand. 60% of the individuals who transitioned from thinking about suicide to an attempt occurred in the first year. The average life rates of suicidal ideation, having a plan and making an attempt were 9.2%, 3.1% and 2.7% respectively.The mental health risk factors were highest among individuals with mood disorders and impulse control disorders followed by anxiety and substance abuse disorders. Economics entered into the study with high income countries showing a presence of a mood disorder as the strongest predictor of suicidal ideas and behavior and in low- and middle- income countries, the presence of an impulse control disorder was the stronger predictor.

This retrospective study, while not adjusted for traumatic life events and other stressors, offers us an understanding of the risk factors which are shared by all people and the progression from suicidal thought, to a plan and eventually to act.

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