Suicide is a tragic even that many mental health professionals have taken as central to their careers and fields of study. Hoping to decrease the rates of suicide throughout the population and to develop and distribute effective and meaningful care for those in pain, professionals who work with suicide as a subject of study are typically on the lookout for factors that play a role in thoughts and feelings about suicide, attempts, and successful terminations. One study concentrating on suicide recently performed at the University of Lund in Sweden examined how age and past behaviors relating to suicide impact successful attempts. With a broad participant group collected from hospital records from over thirteen years, the researchers set to work to question how multiple suicide attempts, along with their severity, might interact with age in the determination of likelihood that a given subject would commit suicide.
The study found that in general, the likelihood of suicide decreased with age, however both sexes were correlated with certain behaviors that indicated an increased risk as they became older. Specifically, women who had participated in a large number of suicide attempts were significantly more likely to successfully commit suicide as they aged, and men who were associated with severe attempts were indicated for a greater occurrence of completed suicide. The risk factors of repetition and severity were not seen in equal measures between men and women.
The study is bound to help mental health professionals identify situations in which clients are at a higher degree of risk for suicide, and may prompt more accurate and effective monitoring measures in mental health facilities and other venues for specialized care. By furthering the cause of suicide prevention, the researchers have added to the growing set of skills that mental health professionals can use to help people live well, even after a suicidal episode.
© Copyright 2009 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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