This devastating statistic was identified by researchers at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. One in every 58 individuals with schizophrenia spectrum disorder (SSD) dies by suicide.

In comparison, one in 10,000 people in the general population will die by suicide.

The study included 20 years of population data, representing over 75,000 patients with SSD.

Certain factors increase the risk of suicide among people with SSD. The first five years after a diagnosis were the time of greatest risk. Individuals who had previously been diagnosed with a mood disorder, hospitalized for mental health issues, or had attempted suicide were also at greater risk.

The researchers also found that the age of diagnosis was significant. Those diagnosed at an older age (between 26 and 35) were at greater risk of suicide than those diagnosed before age 25.

These insights suggest that there are ways to help prevent suicide and address risk factors among folks with SSD. The researchers recommend:

  • increasing the age limit for admission to first-episode psychosis programs to provide care for individuals over age 30.
  • increasing the length of clinical follow-up care after a first episode of psychosis, given that suicide risk is high for five years following a diagnosis.

Learn more at the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health, or read the full research paper in the Schizophrenia Research scientific journal.