This study evaluated the characteristics of suicidal behavior (suicide attempt or suicidal ideation) among 230 consecutively admitted inpatients with schizophrenia and mood disorders in a university hospital in China. The rate of lifetime suicidal behavior was found to be significantly higher in patients with mood disorders (62.4%) than in patients with schizophrenia (38.6%). The rate of suicidal behavior was significantly higher in patients with major depressive disorder (86.8%) than those with bipolar disorders (42.6%). Patients with schizophrenia attempted suicide for the first time earlier in life than the patients with mood disorders. Mood disorder patients, especially those with major depressive disorder, had more and more serious suicide attempts than the patients with schizophrenia.