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Almost Half of Suicidal Think They Don't Need Treatment

Many have treatable psychiatric disorders but face barriers to treatment

MONDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- Many adults who think about committing suicide do not receive treatment from a doctor or mental health professional, according to a study in the July/August issue of General Hospital Psychiatry. In fact, many of them don't feel they need treatment.

Ruth Klap, Ph.D., from the University of California Los Angeles, and colleagues followed up on 7,896 respondents to a nationally representative survey during 2000 to 2001 to estimate mental health and substance abuse services use for adults who have considered suicide, compared to those who have not.

The investigators found that 3.6 percent of respondents reported suicide ideation, with 74 percent of those having a probable and treatable psychiatric disorder such as depression. Nearly half of this group did not perceive the need for care, while nearly 40 percent never received treatment. Forty-four percent did not think they needed treatment.

"Many adults with suicide ideation do not perceive a need for care or receive treatment in the same year," the authors conclude. "Even among those perceiving a need for care, many experience difficulties in obtaining it. It is critical to understand barriers to treatments for this high-risk group."

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