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Schizophrenia and Suicide

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Can the Risk of Suicide Be Reduced?

Suicidal behavior can be reduced. Caregivers are constantly searching for better ways to help suicidal individuals. The feelings and impulses that lead people to commit suicide are complicated and may include psychological, biological and social conditions. Therefore, any effective suicide prevention strategy should include medication, counseling and social support.

Up to 90 percent of all persons who commit suicide suffer from a treatable, severe mental illness. The best clinical judgment indicates that these individuals need to have their mental disorder treated with appopriate medications.

Schizophrenia, depression, schizoaffective and bipolar disorders are all illnesses that have a biochemical cause and as such can be treated medically. In recent years, physicians have learned how to use drug therapy to reduce the risk of suicidal behavior for individuals caught in this dangerous phase of illness.

Social supports for individuals with mental illness such as education, peer counseling, and participation in a support group serve to build vital connections which are helpful in "holding people to life."


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