Summary of key findings

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Adults' use of health services in the year before death by suicide in Alberta

Publication: Health Reports 2011:22(3)

Authors: Kenneth B. Morrison and Lory Laing

Data: Death records linked to administrative records pertaining to physician visits, emergency department visits, inpatient hospital separations, and community mental health visits.

This study provides detailed diagnostic information from a variety of administrative databases about Alberta residents who died by suicide, and uses a control group (the entire Alberta population who did not die by suicide).

Almost 90% of those who died by suicide received a health service during the year before their death.

Groups thought to be at risk of not accessing health services had, in fact, higher service use. Among those who died by suicide, almost all First Nations individuals (99%) and social assistance recipients (98%) had had a health service contact in the year before their death.

Almost 60% of those who diedby suicide had an emergencydepartment visit in the year before their death.

Full article

For more information about this article, contact Kenneth B. Morrison (1-780-240-1912;, formerly with Alberta Health and Wellness and now with Alberta Children and Youth Services.