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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(1), 104; doi:10.3390/ijerph14010104

The Basic Act for Suicide Prevention: Effects on Longitudinal Trend in Deliberate Self-Harm with Reference to National Suicide Data for 1996–2014

1
Mental Health and Nursing Research Team, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, 2-1-6 Kamikitazawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 156-8506, Japan
2
Mental Health Promotion Project, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, 2-1-6 Kamikitazawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 156-8506, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Rory O’Connor and Gwendolyn Portzky
Received: 11 August 2016 / Revised: 27 December 2016 / Accepted: 17 January 2017 / Published: 21 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Understanding Suicide Risk to Preventing Suicide)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [647 KB, uploaded 21 January 2017]   |  

Abstract

A suicide prevention strategy was launched in Japan in 2006 to address the high suicide rate, which had increased considerably since 1998. The national strategy from 2007 involved the enhancement of psychiatric treatment services at emergency medical facilities and supportive observation by individuals close to patients. The national suicide rate has decreased gradually since 2008; however, national information regarding the number of patients who had engaged in deliberate self-harm was absent. Therefore, the present study examined the longitudinal trend in hospital admissions due to deliberate self-harm in Japan. Data from the National Patient Survey between 1996 and 2014—a nationally representative cross-sectional survey of inpatient care every 3 years—were used. Data for 13,014 patients were included in the estimation of the number of hospital admissions due to deliberate self-harm. The results show that the estimated number of admissions due to deliberate self-harm increased from 2078 in September 1996 to 3189 in September 2008, when the national number of suicide cases peaked, and decreased to 1783 in 2014. Approximately half of the patients were admitted to hospital because of self-harm via means other than drug poisoning, which had a high mortality rate (5.6%). The proportion of patients receiving public assistance was higher in those who had engaged in deliberate self-harm (8.5%) relative to that observed in the general population. Overall, the trend in deliberate self-harm was synchronous with the number of suicide cases over time. As economic poverty has been associated with suicidal ideation and behavior and some recipients of public assistance tend to abuse psychotropic medication, the public assistance program should provide mental health support for recipients of social benefit schemes. View Full-Text
Keywords: deliberate self-harm; health policy; suicide prevention deliberate self-harm; health policy; suicide prevention
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Nakanishi, M.; Endo, K.; Ando, S. The Basic Act for Suicide Prevention: Effects on Longitudinal Trend in Deliberate Self-Harm with Reference to National Suicide Data for 1996–2014. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 104.

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