Incidence of suicidality in people with depression over a 10-year period treated by a large UK mental health service provider

Emma R. Francis, Daniela Fonseca De Freitas, Craig Colling, Megan Pritchard, Giouliana Kadra-Scalzo, Natalia Viani, Jaya Chaturvedi, Tom R. Denee, Cicely Kerr, Mitesh Desai, Gemma Scott, Hitesh Shetty, Mathew Broadbent, David Chandran, Johnny Downs, Sumithra Velupillai, Mizanur Khondoker, Robert Stewart, Rina Dutta, Richard D. Hayes

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We describe the incidence of suicidality (2007–2017) in people with depression treated by secondary mental healthcare services at South London and Maudsley NHS Trust (n = 26 412). We estimated yearly incidence of ‘suicidal ideation’ and ‘high risk of suicide’ from structured and free-text fields of the Clinical Record Interactive Search system. The incidence of suicidal ideation increased from 0.6 (2007) to 1 cases (2017) per 1000 population. The incidence of high risk of suicide, based on risk forms, varied between 0.06 and 0.50 cases per 1000 adult population (2008–2017). Electronic health records provide the opportunity to examine suicidality on a large scale, but the impact of service-related changes in the use of structured risk assessment should be considered.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere223
JournalBJPsych Open
Issue number6
Early online date24 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • Depression
  • Electronic health records
  • High risk of suicide
  • Incidence
  • Suicidal ideation

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