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Mental health
Comprehensive and clinically useful: review of risk factors for suicidal behaviour in men
  1. Emma Howarth1,
  2. Judith Johnson2
  1. 1 Maggie Keswick Jencks Cancer Caring Centres Trust, Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK
  2. 2 School of Psychology, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Emma Howarth, Maggie Keswick Jencks Cancer Caring Centres Trust, Leeds G12 0YN, West Yorkshire, UK; emma.j.howarth{at}

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Commentary on: Richardson C, Robb KA, O’Connor RC. A systematic review of suicidal behaviour in men: a narrative synthesis of risk factors. Soc Sci Med 2021;276:113831. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2021.113831

Implications for practice and research

  • When assessing suicide risk in men, clinicians should particularly focus on alcohol/drug use, marital status and mental health.

  • Future research should focus on low/middle-income countries (LMIC).

  • There is a need for further prospective studies which investigate psychological factors which predict suicide risk.


There are 700 000 deaths worldwide each year due to suicide, and due to sensitivities around reporting suicide deaths, the true figure could be higher.1 The risk of suicide is higher in men internationally, with the global age-standardised suicide rate 2.3 that of women.1 However, despite decades of suicide research, our ability to predict who will die by suicide is no better than chance,2 demonstrating a continuing need for better understanding in this …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.