Medication for self-harm: new Cochrane review finds very limited evidence to support its use

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Dochka Hristova reports on a new Cochrane review of pharmacological interventions for self-harm in adults, which looks at the treatment effect on repetition of self-harm of antidepressants, antipsychotics, mood stabilisers and dietary supplements.

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Psychosocial therapy effective in reducing self-harm, suicide and all-cause death

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Elly O’Brien summarises a large Danish cohort study, which investigates the short-term and long-term effects of psychosocial therapy for people after deliberate self-harm.

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Cyberbullying and mental health in young people

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Elly O’Brien summarises a recent US survey of adolescents, which investigates the relationship between cyberbullying, mental health and substance use problems, and the moderating role of family dinners.

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New evidence on antidepressants and suicide risk in children and young people

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Major depressive disorder (MDD) is unfortunately a relatively common condition in children and adolescents.  Depression is estimated to affect 2% of pre-pubertal children and 5-8% of adolescents (Son et al, 2000). As you might expect, depression has a significant negative impact on the development, functioning and risk for suicide in individuals affected, as well as [read the full story…]

People who died by suicide are more likely to have been last discharged from a general hospital

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Suicide is a significant public health concern in the UK and globally. Recently it was reported that the UK male suicide rate in 2012 was 3.5 times that of women (Siddique, 2014). In 1981, when the data series these reports were based on began, the male suicide rate was 1.9 times that for women. However, overall [read the full story…]

Psychiatric illnesses and some chronic physical illnesses are associated with an increased risk of self-harm and suicide

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Last month, the Department of Health published the ‘Closing the Gap’ report, which highlighted the importance of better integration of physical and mental health care at every level. The report specifically flagged up the need for frontline services to respond better to people who self-harm, and cited statistics that emphasise the cyclical nature of the [read the full story…]

Do smoking cessation treatments increase the risk of depression and suicide?

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Smoking is a major preventable cause of morbidity and premature mortality throughout the world. There are an estimated 460,000 hospital admissions attributable to smoking in people aged over 35 every year, with an average annual cost to the NHS of £2.7 billion. Many strategies exist to help people give up smoking. The most common are [read the full story…]

How can we best prevent suicide in young people? More questions than answers

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Listening to a World Health Organisation podcast recently I learnt that someone dies as a result of suicide every 40 seconds; this equates to a million suicides each year. The podcast contains a myriad of such stark statistics and the contributors’ highlight how it is well established that young people are often at risk, and [read the full story…]

The largest ever study of self-harm in prisons: prevalence, risk, clustering and subsequent suicide

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New research published today in the Lancet shows that up to one in four women prisoners in England and Wales self-harm every year. The largest study of self-harm in prisons also reports that female prisoners are four times more likely to self-harm than male inmates. Previous systematic reviews have investigated self-harm in prisons (Lohner, 2007 and Dixon-Gordon, [read the full story…]