Mental Health Research

Mental Health Research

NZ Medical Journal

27 February 1998

A paper was published in the NZ Medical Journal by Annette Beautrais, Peter Joyce, and Roger Mulder, from the Canterbury Suicide Project, and Christchurch School of Medicine. The article was based on research done between 1991 and 1994 with young people who had attempted suicide, and a large number of control subjects.

 The results of this study clearly identify the central role of psychiatric disorder in the aetiology (cause) of suicide attempts among young people and have clear implications for the development of strategies to address suicide prevention.
 
It appears that the greatest potential for preventing suicide is likely to come from focusing upon efforts to improve the recognition and treatment of mental disorders (in particular, affective disorders and substance abuse disorders), and to improve delivery of mental health services to this at-risk population.
Strategies to achieve these goals: 1. Better inform and educate the general public about mental health issues and to make appropriate treatment for mental illnesses more readily accepted by both the public and by those with such illness.2. Provide appropriate education for teachers, counsellors, � and other professionals to increase awareness of the extent of affective and substance as, and to provide guidelines for the better recognition, treatment and management of depression in young people.3. Improve the organisation and structure of mental health care delivery systems including both inpatient facilities and outpatient community based services.

4. Provide appropriate therapy, follow-up and treatment of individuals who have made suicide attempts who are known to be at high risk of further suicidal behaviour.