Rise in suicide rate outstrips treatment system

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https://academictimes.com/rise-in-suicid...nt-system/

INTRO: As suicide rates continue to rise, only 61% of U.S. outpatient mental health facilities have a comprehensive suicide prevention program, and facilities treating low-income patients are especially likely to lack these services, according to an analysis of federal government data.

The study, published March 4 in Psychiatric Services, found that while nearly 70% of facilities accepting private insurance provided such a program, only 61% of facilities accepting uninsured or Medicaid patients did. While facilities may have had some prevention services, this study looked at whether they had a multiprong, evidence-based, comprehensive program.

Over 40,000 people die by suicide in the U.S. each year, and suicidal patients are left even more vulnerable by a lack of regulation, the researchers argue.

The suicide rate has increased from 10.2 deaths per 100,000 people in 1999 to 14.2 deaths per 100,000 people in 2018, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. And yet there are no consistent suicide program requirements for outpatient mental health care facilities; as a result, each one is more or less left to decide independently — and for-profit facilities are the least likely to implement these costly services, said lead author Peiyin Hung... (MORE)
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