Suicide thoughts and attempts and psychiatric treatment utilization: Informing prevention strategies

Brian Kenneth Ahmedani, Brian Perron, Mark Ilgen, Arnelyn Abdon, Michael Vaughn, Matthew Epperson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the characteristics of nonreceipt of specialty psychiatric treatment among those who experienced suicidal thoughts or who attempted suicide. Methods: Data were from the 2008-2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health and included responses from adults 18 years and older who answered mental health and suicide-related questions (N= 75,690). Results: Overall, 3.7% of the respondents experienced suicidal thoughts and .5% attempted suicide. Lack of psychiatric treatment was common among these individuals. Men, 18- to 25-yearolds, persons without insurance, and racial-ethnic groups other than white non-Hispanics were least likely to receive treatment. Conclusions: Prevention and treatment efforts have targeted seekers of specialty treatment at high risk of suicide, but fewer interventions have focused on individuals with suicidal thoughts or attempters who do not seek treatment. More targeted prevention strategies are needed to mitigate suicide in the United States.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-189
Number of pages4
JournalPsychiatric Services
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Feb 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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