Mortality and suicide among persons experiencing homelessness: A seven-year follow-up study

Fran Calvo*, Xavier Carbonell, Sarah Johnsen, Sonia Panadero, Jose Juan Vazquez, Anna Calvet, Keith McInnes, Silvia Font-Mayolas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Background: There exists a significant gap in scientific understanding regarding suicide among persons experiencing homelessness (PEHs). Method: This seven-year longitudinal study examined a cohort of 154 PEHs. In 2015, clinical assessments were conducted, including an evaluation of suicide risk, with data on causes of death collected from public health service records in 2022. Results: Over the course of seven years, 14.3% of the sample passed away at an average age of 52.6 years. The leading causes of death were cancer, suicide, and accidental overdose. Participants who experienced violence had a higher number of suicide attempts and scored higher on the suicidal ideation scale. The most significant factors associated with mortality were prior suicide attempts and suicidal ideation. Conclusions: This study underscores the importance of suicide risk scale scores as the primary predictor of mortality. It emphasizes the need for further longitudinal research on suicide among PEHs and the development of specific programs to prevent suicide within this population. An approach combining structural and individual perspectives is suggested, considering appropriate housing policies and mental health care.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPsicothema
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 10 Jan 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • homelessness
  • suicide
  • violence
  • overdose
  • mortality
  • suicidal behavior

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