-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Teens are at highest risk
for attempted suicide in the two years after a parent attempts
suicide or is admitted to a psychiatric hospital, a new study
The study, by researchers in Sweden and Denmark, included more
than 15,000 people who attempted suicide between the ages of 15 and
31. The patients were compared to a "control" group of age- and
sex-matched people who had not attempted suicide.
The researchers pointed out that it is already well known that
mental illness and suicidal behavior in parents is a risk factor
for attempted suicide in their children.
The new study found, however, that young people had the highest
risk of attempted suicide within the two-year period after a
parent, particularly a mother, had attempted suicide. The study
authors also noted that daughters, in particular, had a high risk
of attempted suicide relatively soon after their mother was
admitted to a psychiatric hospital.
The suicide risk in both such situations was higher among teens
than among young adults, according to the study, which was
published Dec. 12 in the online journal
"We show that young people, particularly teenagers, need support during a period immediately following the admission of a parent into care for mental disorders or suicidal behavior if their own attempted suicide is to be prevented," principal investigator Dr. Ellenor Mittendorfer-Rutz, a researcher in the department of clinical neuroscience at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, said in an institute news release.
"What's required, therefore, is effective cooperation between all actors, particularly the adult and child and adolescent psychiatric services," she added.
The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more about
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