The association between current or recent psychiatric hospitalisation and increased suicide risk is well described. This relationship is generally assumed to be due to the selection of people at increased risk of suicide for psychiatric admission and subsequent failure of protection from suicide once admitted. Here, Matthew Large and Nav Kapur debate whether or not admission to hospital also selects for vulnerability to certain harmful aspects of hospitalisation and whether the increased rate of suicide in current and recently discharged psychiatric patients is, in fact, due to psychiatric hospitalisation itself.
Declaration of interest
M.M.L. has provided expert testimony in legal proceedings following in-patient suicide. N.K. sits on the Department of Health (England) National Suicide Prevention Strategy Advisory group.