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#JamesDonaldson On #MentalHealth – High Rate Of Those Who Died By #Suicide May Have Had Undiagnosed #Autism- Study

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#Autism may be much more common than previously thought, the study reveals.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF

Teen depression (illustrative) (photo credit: ING IMAGE)

#Teen #depression

Troubling research by a team from Nottingham University finds a high percentage of people who died by #suicide may have had an undiagnosed case of #autism. Study authors urge for earlier diagnosis and custom support for #suicideprevention.

This is the first ever research to investigate the relationship between #suicide in the #UnitedKingdom and #autism, a lifelong developmental condition. Researchers analyzed a total of 372 coroner’s reports inspecting people who took their own life. The team also conducted interviews with family members of the deceased. The findings were published on February 15, 2022, in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

The researchers found that 10% of those who died by #suicide had evidence of elevated autistic traits, indicating likely undiagnosed #autism. This is 11 times higher than the rate of #autism in the UK.

#JamesDonaldson notes:

Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.

Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.

Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle

 Demonstration in Tel Aviv to increase budget for people with autism over 21 years of age. (credit: HANNAH BROWN)Demonstration in Tel Aviv to increase budget for people with #autism over 21 years of age

Previous research by the same researchers has shown that up to 66% of autistic #adults have thought about taking their own life, and 35% have attempted #suicide. Earlier research has also found that both diagnosed autistic people and those with elevated autistic traits are more vulnerable to #mentalhealthproblems, suicidal thoughts, and #behaviors. The new research goes a step further by examining Coroner’s records related to people who have ended their own life.

The researchers noted that there are many barriers to receiving an #autism diagnosis, including limited availability of diagnostic services, leading to long waiting lists. 

Lead researcher Dr. Sarah Cassidy remarked: “Many #adults in the UK find it very difficult to obtain an #autism diagnosis and appropriate support post-diagnosis. Our study shows that undiagnosed autistic people could be at increased risk of dying by #suicide. It is urgent that access to an #autism diagnosis and appropriate support post-diagnosis is improved. This is the top #autism community priority for #suicideprevention, and needs to be addressed immediately by commissioners of services and policymakers.”

Professor Simon Baron-Cohen added: “Even a single #suicide is a terrible tragedy for the person and a traumatic loss for their families and friends. #Suicide rates are unacceptably high in autistic people and #suicideprevention has to be the number one goal to reduce the worrying increased mortality in autistic people. Autistic people on average die 20 years earlier than non-autistic people, and two big causes of this are #suicide and epilepsy. We published the preliminary data on elevated #suicide rates back in 2014 as a wake-up call to governments, and yet nothing has been done.”

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