Suicide and suicidal behaviours: implications for mental health services

Can J Psychiatry. 1998 Oct;43(8):785-91. doi: 10.1177/070674379804300802.


Objective: To examine what is known about engaging and maintaining suicidal individuals in treatment and what can be learned from the randomized, controlled trials of psychosocial interventions concerning the reduction of suicidal behaviours.

Method: Review of the relevant literature.

Results: Treatment follow-through is low among those who attempt suicide. The evidence to date is inconclusive as to whether psychosocial interventions can reduce the repetition of suicidal behaviour.

Conclusions: Certain groups may benefit from psychosocial interventions. Future research must overcome several methodological issues. As treatment relies on adequate follow-through, changes in the delivery of care may enhance treatment effectiveness.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Behavior
  • Delivery of Health Care / standards
  • Humans
  • Mental Health Services / standards*
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology*