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Elizabeth Blackwell Institute Vice Chancellor's Fellow Dr Duleeka (Dee) Knipe publishes study on Suicidal behaviour on World Mental Health Day

10 October 2019

Study aims to address suicide prevention in low- and middle-income countries

Future treatment and prevention of suicidal behaviour in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) should involve a wider range of approaches beyond just the treatment of psychiatric illness, according to a new University of Bristol study published on World Mental Health Day today [Thursday 10 October] in PLOS Medicine.

Dr Duleeka Knipe, Elizabeth Blackwell Institute (EBI) Vice Chancellor's Research Fellow at the Bristol Medical School, said: "This is the first time we've really been able to take an overall look at what we already know about the association between psychiatric morbidity and suicidal behaviour in LMIC. Our analyses show there is a lot of variability between studies and countries, and this suggests there is no one answer, but does support our thinking that psychiatric disorder is perhaps not as important in these settings as in higher income countries.

"Of course, the treatment of underlying psychiatric illness is important but prevention efforts should also incorporate a wider range of activities which aim to reduce access to lethal means, poverty, domestic violence and alcohol misuse. For example, population level solutions, such as banning highly toxic pesticides, have been shown to be effective in reducing the number of suicide deaths."

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