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Non-receipt of psychiatric treatment among people in the USA reporting suicide thoughts or attempts is more common among men, younger people and non-white ethnic groups

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Question: What are the characteristics of individuals in the USA who experience suicidal thoughts or attempt suicide but do not receive specialty psychiatric treatment?

Population: 75 690 adults taking part in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NHSUH) in 2008 and 2009. The sample populations are representative of the US population.

Setting: The USA; 2008 and 2009.

Assessment: Participants completed an audio computer-assisted self-interview. This included single-item yes–no response questions to assess suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts in the preceding 12 months. Further questions were also asked to identify: utilisations of specialty psychiatric treatment (including alcohol, drug abuse or mental health specialty treatment), drug use, psychological distress, depression and demographic information. Descriptive analyses were applied to generate the weighted percentage of suicidal thoughts or attempts by sociodemographic variables of interest and treatment participation. Logistic regressions were then applied to investigate odds of non-receipt of specialty psychiatric treatment among those who had suicidal thoughts or attempts. The OR figures reported are for non-receipt of specialty treatment, …

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  • Sources of funding The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.


  • Competing interests None.

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