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Suicide in Scottish prisons.

Authors
  • Backett, S A
Type
Published Article
Journal
The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science
Publication Date
Aug 01, 1987
Volume
151
Pages
218–221
Identifiers
PMID: 3690112
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

A consecutive series of prison suicides in Scotland between 1970 and 1982 was examined. The initial phase of imprisonment was found to be the most vulnerable stage of confinement, with almost two-thirds of the deaths having taken place within the first month. A disproportionately high number were found to be on remand. A history of some form of psychiatric involvement was common, and a third of the group had received previous psychiatric inpatient treatment. In contrast to results from general population studies, there was little evidence to link suicide with a history of depressive illness. A record of problems with either alcohol or drug dependence was found in almost half the cases. The importance of general measures designed to reduce stress and promote coping mechanisms is emphasised.

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