Menus Subscribe Search

Follow us

Quick Studies


Quick Study: More Psychiatrists = More Suicides?

• November 08, 2013 • 12:00 PM


Does having a better mental-health system lead to higher suicide rates?

Countries with better mental-health systems also seem to have higher suicide rates. That’s the counter-intuitive conclusion of researchers from Denmark and India who examined detailed data on 191 nations.

Writing in the International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, the researchers report that, after adjusting for macroeconomic indicators including per capita GDP and income inequality, “both the number of psychiatrists, and the number of mental health beds, were significantly associated with higher national suicide rates.”

One explanation, the researchers speculate, may be that nations with fewer psychiatrists “may have better family cohesion and social connectedness.” Or it could just be that countries with better mental-health systems are also better at determining and recording causes of death.

Tom Jacobs
Staff writer Tom Jacobs is a veteran journalist with more than 20 years experience at daily newspapers. He has served as a staff writer for The Los Angeles Daily News and the Santa Barbara News-Press. His work has also appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and Ventura County Star.

More From Tom Jacobs

Tags: , ,

If you would like to comment on this post, or anything else on Pacific Standard, visit our Facebook or Google+ page, or send us a message on Twitter. You can also follow our regular updates and other stories on both LinkedIn and Tumblr.

A weekly roundup of the best of Pacific Standard and, delivered straight to your inbox.

Follow us

Subscribe Now

Quick Studies

When a Romance Is Threatened, People Rebound With God

And when they feel God might reject them, they buddy up to their partner.

How Can We Protect Open Ocean That Does Not Yet Exist?

As global warming melts ice and ushers in a wave of commercial activity in the Arctic, scientists are thinking about how to protect environments of the future.

What Kind of Beat Makes You Want to Groove?

The science behind the rhythms that get you on the dance floor.

Pollution’s Racial Divides

When it comes to the injustice of air pollution, the divide between blacks and whites is greater than the gap between the rich and the poor.

Hunger and Low Blood Sugar Can Spur Domestic Quarrels

In an experiment, scientists found a correlation between low blood glucose and higher levels of spousal frustration.

The Big One

One state—Pennsylvania—logs 52 percent of all sales, shipments, and receipts for the chocolate manufacturing industry. March/April 2014