2020 July-August

Here we are with the selection of articles published in the months of July and August 2020, about suicide, self harm and suicidal related topics from the major scientific journals.

Three articles are presented with a small comment by Raffaella Calati and Martina Rignanese.

Challenges facing individuals and researchers: suicide in India in the COVID-19 pandemic
Kallakuri, S., & Maulik, P. K.
The Lancet. Psychiatry, 7(8), e49. 2020

In India, the situation given by the COVID-19 pandemic is more and more dramatic. Also, in this country several factors are adding to the mental health impacts of this period of health emergency. First of all, a good part of the workforce in India includes daily wage laborers and migrant workers, who have lost their jobs and have few or no savings. Also, stigma and discrimination against individuals who are either affected or are at increased risk of COVID-19 infection contribute to increase the levels of anxiety and distress.
Moreover, the difficulty of collecting reliable data on deaths or suicide attempts represents a huge challenge for researchers.

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Risk factors for self-harm in prison: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Favril, L., Yu, R., Hawton, K., & Fazel, S.
The Lancet Psychiatry, 7(8), 682-691. 2020

Self-harm is a leading cause of morbidity in prisoners. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to collect evidence and assess the major risk factors associated with self-harm in prisons. 35 independent studies from 20 different countries were included. Results suggested that the strongest risk factors were represented by suicide-related antecedents, any current psychiatric diagnosis, and prison-specific environmental factors, including solitary confinement, disciplinary infractions, and experiencing sexual or physical victimization while in prison. Conversely, sociodemographic and criminological variables were only modestly associated with increased risk of self-harm.

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Bisexuality and Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI): A narrative synthesis of associated variables and a meta-analysis of risk
Dunlop, B. J., Hartley, S., Oladokun, O., & Taylor, P. J.
Journal of Affective Disorders. 2020.

Bisexual people have been found to be more likely to report non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) if compared to heterosexual and gay or lesbian individuals. The aim of this work was to provide a data update regarding to the estimation of this specific risk. Results showed that bisexual people were six times more likely to present NSSI if compared to other sexualities, with increased incidence of anxiety and depression and exposure to negative life events as the most predictive variables in this association. Since these findings are clinically significant, they suggest that early identification and prevention of NSSI are extremely fundamental, especially in bisexual communities.

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