Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Link between Mental Illness, Gun-Related Suicide Studied

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Link between Mental Illness, Gun-Related Suicide Studied

Article excerpt

FROM HEALTH AFFAIRS

Enacting risk-based gun removal laws and prohibiting guns from people involuntarily detained in short-term psychiatric hospitalization may have a positive impact on gun-related suicide and violent crime among people with serious mental illnesses.

Those are among the recommendations published by Jeffrey W. Swanson, Ph.D., and his associates, who studied 81,704 adults diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression in two large Florida counties between 2002 and 2011 (Health Aff. 2016 Jun 6;35[6]:1067-75. doi:10.1377/ hlthafF.2016.0017).

Dr. Swanson and his associates found that 62% of arrests from gun crimes and 28% of suicides by gun involved individuals who were not legally permitted to have a gun. In addition, they found that suicide was nearly four times as prevalent among adults diagnosed with a serious mental illness, compared with their counterparts in the general population (64.4 vs.17.7 per 100,000 persons).

Also, 20% of suicides among adults with a serious mental illness were by firearm, compared with 48% of adults in the general Florida population, reported Dr. Swanson, a professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University, Durham, N. …

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