Mental health articles

OF mental health care and mentally ill

Risk factors of suicidal behaviour

Suicidal behaviour has a large number of underlying causes. It is associated with a complex array of factors that interact with each other and place individuals at risk. These include: 

 psychiatric factors such as major depression, schizophrenia, alcohol and other drug use, and anxiety disorders;

biological factors or genetic traits, such as a family history of suicide; 

 life events, such as the loss of a loved one or a job; 

 psychological factors, such as interpersonal confl ict, violence or a history of physical and sexual abuse in childhood, and feelings of hopelessness;

social and environmental factors, including the availability of the means of suicide (firearms, toxic gases, medicines, herbicides and pesticides), social isolation and economic hardship.

Some risk factors vary with age, gender, sexual orientation and ethnic group. Marginalized groups such as minorities, refugees, the unemployed, people in or leaving prisons, and those already with mental health problems, are particularly at risk.

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