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Suicide attempts and non-suicidal self-harm: national prevalence study of young adults

  • Rory C. O'Connor (a1), Karen Wetherall (a1), Seonaid Cleare (a1), Sarah Eschle (a1), Julie Drummond (a1), Eamonn Ferguson (a2), Daryl B. O'Connor (a3) and Ronan E. O'Carroll (a4)...
Abstract
Background

There are few prevalence studies of suicide attempts and non-suicidal self-harm (NSSH).

Aims

We aimed to estimate the prevalence of thoughts of NSSH, suicidal thoughts, NSSH and suicide attempts among 18- to 34-year-olds in Scotland.

Method

We interviewed a representative sample of young adults from across Scotland.

Results

We interviewed 3508 young people; 11.3 and 16.2% reported a lifetime history of suicide attempts and NSSH, respectively. The first episode of NSSH tended to precede the first suicide attempt by about 2 years. Age at onset of NSSH and suicide attempt was younger in females. Earlier age at onset was associated with more frequent NSSH/suicide attempts. Women are significantly more likely to report NSSH and suicide attempts compared with men.

Conclusions

One in nine young people has attempted suicide and one in six has engaged in NSSH. Clinicians should be vigilant, as suicide attempts and NSSH are relatively common.

Declaration of interest

None.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.
Corresponding author
Correspondence: Rory C. O'Connor, Suicidal Behaviour Research Laboratory, Institute of Health & Wellbeing, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 0XH. Email: rory.oconnor@glasgow.ac.uk
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Suicide attempts and non-suicidal self-harm: national prevalence study of young adults

  • Rory C. O'Connor (a1), Karen Wetherall (a1), Seonaid Cleare (a1), Sarah Eschle (a1), Julie Drummond (a1), Eamonn Ferguson (a2), Daryl B. O'Connor (a3) and Ronan E. O'Carroll (a4)...
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