The Role of Mental Health Services Among People Who Attempted Suicide by Taking a Drug Overdose During the Last Year Before Their Suicide Commission

Document Type: Original article


1 Department of Mental Health and Psychiatry, Iran University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran

2 Iran University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran

3 Tehran University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran


OBJECTIVES: Suicide victims frequently have had contact with the mental health services before they died. In this study, the rate of mental health care system contact during the last year before suicide commission was evaluated. METHODS: Utilization of mental health care facilities during the last 12 months of 231 individuals who committed suicide was assessed by the questionnaire. RESULTS: Of the suicide victims, 62% had been used mental health services at least once. The mean age of the patients was 29.7 years (SD = 4/11). There wasn’t Significant difference in age between men and women who had used mental health services (P = 0.077). There was a significant relation-ship between the two groups using and not using of mental health services and suicide more than once (P = 0.008). There was also a significant relationship between psychiatric illness and mental health services use. (P <0.0001). CONCLUSION: Increasing utilization of mental health care facilities should be considered a particularly profound suicide risk assessment and post discharge treatment planning. Continued and more serious follow-up of these patients with strategies such as social workers or through methods such as telemedicine (Continuous and right communication through phone, email, etc.) is necessary for preventing suicide.


1. Evans E, Hawton K, Rodham K. Factors associated with suicidal phenomena in adolescents: a systematic review of population-based studies. Clin Psychol Rev 2004;24(8):957-79.

2. Kostenuik M, Ratnapalan M. Approach to adolescent suicide prevention. Can Fam Physician 2010;56(8):755-60.

3. Bertolote JM, Fleischmann A. A global perspective in the epidemiology of suicide. Suicidologi 2015;7(2):6-8.

4. Abuse S, Mental Health Services Administration OoAS. The NSDUH Report: Suicidal thoughts and behaviors among adults. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Rockville, MD; 2009.

5. Hassanian-Moghaddam H, Zamani N. Suicide in Iran: the facts and the Figures from Nationwide reports. Iran J Psychiatry 2017;12(1):73.

6. Karamouzian M, Rostami M. Suicide Statistics in Iran: Let’s Get Specific. Am J Mens Health 2019;13(1):

7. Mirhashemi S, Motamedi MHK, Mirhashemi AH, Taghipour H, Danial Z. Suicide in Iran. The Lancet 2016;387

8. Pajoumand A, Mahdavinejad A, Birang S, Zarei M, Mehregan FF, Mostafazadeh B. Suicide epidemiology and characteristics among young Iranians at poison ward, Loghman-Hakim Hospital (1997-2007). Arch Iran Med 2012;15(4):210-3.

9. Shirazi H, Hosseini M, Zoladl M, Malekzadeh M, Momeninejad M, Noorian K, et al. Suicide in the Islamic Republic of Iran: an integrated analysis from 1981 to 2007. East Mediterr Health J 2012;18(6):607-13.

10. Deisenhammer EA, Huber M, Kemmler G, Weiss EM, Hinterhuber H. Suicide victims’ contacts with physicians during the year before death. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci 2007;257(8):480-5.

11. Simon GE, Rutter CM, Peterson D, Oliver M, Whiteside U, Operskalski B, et al. Does response on the PHQ-9 Depression Questionnaire predict subsequent suicide attempt or suicide death? Psychiatr Serv 2013;64(12):1195-202.

12. Appleby L, Shaw J, Amos T, McDonnell R, Harris C, McCann K, et al. Suicide within 12 months of contact with mental health services: national clinical survey. BMJ 1999;318(7193):1235-9.

13. Deisenhammer EA, Huber M, Kemmler G, Weiss EM, Hinterhuber H. Psychiatric hospitalizations during the last 12 months before suicide. Gen Hosp Psychiatry 2007;29(1):63-5.

14. Morrison KB, Laing L. Adults’ use of health services in the year before death by suicide in Alberta. Health Rep 2011;22(3):15-22.

15. Luoma JB, Martin CE, Pearson JL. Contact with mental health and primary care providers before suicide: a review of the evidence. Am J Psychiatry 2002;159(6):909-16.

16. Ahmedani BK, Simon GE, Stewart C, Beck A, Waitzfelder BE, Rossom R, et al. Health care contacts in the year before suicide death. J Gen Intern Med 2014;29(6):870-7.

17. Renaud J, Séguin M, Lesage AD, Marquette C, Choo B, Turecki G. Service use and unmet needs in youth suicide: a study of trajectories. Can J Psychiatry 2014;59(10):523-30.

18. Cantor C, Neulinger K. The epidemiology of suicide and attempted suicide among young Australians. Aust N Z J Psychiatry 2000;34(3):370-87.

19. Ghaleiha A, Afzali S, Bazyar M, Khorsand F, Torabian S. Characteristics of hospitalized patients following suicide attempt in Hamadan district, Iran. Oman Med J 2012;27(4):304-9.

20. Desai RA, Dausey DJ, Rosenheck RA. Mental health service delivery and suicide risk: the role of individual patient and facility factors. Am J Psychiatry 2005;162(2):311-8.