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Suicide rate of people with 170 times higher for illness.

Over the last few days, there has been a lot of conversations surrounding mental health and suicide prevention. Estimates say that roughly 8,00,000 people die by suicide every year, with one death being reported every 40 seconds. In India, suicide is said to be the most common cause of death in the age group of 15–29 years.

The one-of-a-kind study, which collated data over 20 years of time was conducted on over 75,000 patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, a mental disorder. The researchers followed the patients’ life journey for 10 years since they first heard the prognosis.

Hence, what researchers feel is that a part of treatment for schizophrenia and other schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD), suicide prevention measures, early hospitalization should be made a part of the plan to lower death rates.

“What this study teaches is us that although people with SSD are at higher risk for suicide, we can target those at the highest risk with changes in policy and treatment,” said lead author Dr Juveria Zaheer, Clinician Scientist at the CAMH Institute for Mental Health Policy Research.

The experts involved in the study also said that some of the other measures which can be made part of the plan include follow-ups, improving quality of life, working to cut down on stigma.

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