Franklin James Cook

National Study: Community Services Lower Suicide Rates

In Prevention, Research on December 23, 2008 at 8:02 am

ORIGINAL REPORT — A report posted at Modern Medicine yesterday points to a nationwide analysis in Finland indicating that “multifaceted, community-based and specialized mental health services can greatly improve population mental health and lead to lower suicide rates.”

The survey was conducted between 2004 and 2005, and included health or social care officers from 428 municipalities … Several services were associated with a decreased suicide death rate, the researchers report. Outpatient services, the prominence of outpatient versus inpatient services, and the prevalence of 24-hour emergency services decreased the risk by 8 percent, 7 percent and 16 percent, respectively … However, after these were adjusted for socioeconomic factors, only the prominence of outpatient services continued to be associated with a lower suicide rate.

The abstract of the article about the study, published online yesterday in The Lancet, offers this interpretation of the findings:

Well-developed community mental-health services are associated with lower suicide rates than are services oriented towards inpatient treatment provision. These data are consistent with the idea that population mental health can be improved by use of multifaceted, community-based, specialised mental-health services.

[The abridged URL for this post is http://tinyurl.com/CommunityMentalHealth .]

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