Older people who self harm need long term follow-up to reduce suicide risk

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 01 May 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e3120
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

Older people who harm themselves are at a much greater risk of suicide than are people of the same age in the general population and three times as likely to take their own life than are younger people who self harm, a study has found.

The findings point to the need for hospitals to adhere to existing guidance on the treatment of older people who self harm and not to discharge patients from the emergency department before they have been assessed by a mental health specialist trained to assess the risks and needs in this age group, says an accompanying editorial.

Researchers from the University of Manchester followed 1177 people over the age …

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