Alcohol increasingly a factor in suicide

ALCOHOL plays a major role in suicide and homicide involving mentally ill patients in Northern Ireland, a report by the University of Manchester has found.

Of 1865 suicides that occurred in 2000–08, 29% (533 deaths) involved patients who had contact with a mental health facility in the previous 12 months.

“Alcohol misuse was a factor in 60% of patient suicides and this appears to have become more common during the course of the study period,” the report, by the university’s National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness, found.