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The articles we select for Evidence-Based Mental Health must pass two stages: first they must pass our basic validity criteria and then the editors assess each article for clinical relevance. A number of articles meet the inclusion criteria but are not abstracted due to lack of space. We will highlight the most interesting of these here and list the rest.

Razors pain you;

Rivers are damp;

Acids stain you;

And drugs cause cramp.

Guns aren’t lawful;

Nooses give;

Gas smells awful;

You might as well live.

The caustic wit of Dorothy Parker pointedly summarises the experience of those who repeatedly self-harm. Much to the frustration of those who have to sew them up or flush them out, strategies to reduce the likelihood of repetition of self-harm have been largely ineffective in the context of a randomised trial (see Evid Based Ment Health 2007;10:37–39). That is with the exception of studies in select populations—namely people with borderline personality disorder. This Dutch trial adds to the evidence-base, reporting that CBT was effective in reducing rates of repetition (Br J Psychiatry 2008;192:202–11). However it was hardly a typical sample: mainly young women with a mean of 14 acts of self-harm in the preceding 3 months. Surprisingly the authors looked for depression and anxiety in the sample but not personality disorder. Can there be any remaining unanswered questions in the epidemiology of suicide? The authors of this study (Br J Psychiatry 2008;192:106–11) from Northern Ireland think so. Previous ecological studies suggest that where you live may impact upon your risk of suicide: area factors such as material deprivation, population density, and social fragmentation are thought to be key. Using a 5-year record linkage study encompassing the whole population of Northern Ireland they found that the effect of area …

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  • Competing interests: None declared.

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