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A fifth of suicides among mentally ill are preventable

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 17 March 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:638
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. London

    The health service is being called on to step up efforts to protect people with mental health problems from harming themselves or other people after a report published this week showed that more than a fifth of suicides among people with mental illness could have been prevented.

    About a quarter of the United Kingdom's 6500 suicides each year occur among people with mental illness, some 12% of them while in hospital, usually by hanging from a curtain rail.

    The National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness showed that many people at risk of suicide are simply slipping through the net. …

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