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Video: Mild Mental Health Problems Can Lead Young People To Commit Suicide
Mild mental health problems can lead young people to commit suicide
According to researchers at the University of Cambridge, young people without symptoms of severe mental disorders can be at risk for suicide.
Photo: CC0 Public Domain
According to a study published in the journal BMJ Open, the vast majority of young people who are prone to suicidal ideation and self-harm have mild to moderate mental health problems. The researchers concluded that preventive measures to reduce the risk of suicide among young people should be applied not only to patients suffering from depression or anxiety disorder, but to the entire population.
The researchers analyzed the incidence of common mental disorders (CDM) using questionnaires in two large groups of young people aged 14 to 24 from London and Cambridgeshire. The first group included 2,403 participants, the second - 1074. The questionnaires included questions about suicidal thoughts and self-harm, which are factors of an increased risk of suicide in this age group.
The study found that young people with severe mental disorders were the most at risk of suicide. However, the majority of participants in both groups (78% and 76%) also suffer from suicidal thoughts and self-harm. Moreover, 66% in the first sample and 71% in the second have a mild or moderate mental disorder.
According to scientists, these data were able to clarify the question of why among the young people who committed suicide there are so many of those who were not at risk for suicide.
“The findings helped us understand why research in subjects at high risk of suicide has not yet developed into useful clinical tools for predicting suicide risk. Self-harm and suicidal thoughts deserve serious medical attention, even if they are not accompanied by serious mental disorders,”said Professor Peter Jones, lead author of the study.
Jones stressed that government policies to reduce suicide rates should be aimed at improving the mental health of not only young people with severe mental disorders, but even those who are not formally at risk, but also need help. This is especially important now, since the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic could lead to a spike in suicide among such young people, the scientist said.