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April 5, 2006

Strategies to Prevent Suicide

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub, MD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2006;295(13):1515-1516. doi:10.1001/jama.295.13.1515-a

To the Editor: In their Review article on suicide prevention strategies, Dr Mann and colleagues1 conclude that recognition of depression and restricted access to lethal methods can reduce suicide rates. Less information is provided about suicidal patients with disorders other than major depression and treatments other than antidepressants. Notably, in bipolar disorder, the risk of suicide is at least as high as in unipolar depression.2 Evidence for reduced risk of suicide and suicide attempts in bipolar and other mood disorders during long-term treatment with lithium is abundant, consistent, and compelling, including data from randomized, controlled trials.35 Moreover, such efficacy of lithium may exceed that of anticonvulsants with antimanic or proposed mood-stabilizing effects.3,4

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