Suicide & life-threatening behavior, Feb 2018 14
First-episode psychosis (FEP) is a particularly high-risk period for suicide, in which risk elevates by 60% within a first year of treatment as compared to later stages of illness. To date, much of the literature has focused on individuals with a longer duration of psychosis; thus, there is an urgency for research to examine suicide risk among individuals in FEP in the beginning stage of treatment. This study aimed to identify the relationships between demographic characteristics, symptoms of depression, psychosis (particularly positive symptoms of psychosis), and suicidal ideation among individuals in FEP. Secondary data were obtained from National Institute of Mental Health's Early Treatment Program of the Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode project (N = 404). Consistent with prior research, participants who experienced suicidal ideation during the study period reported having a longer duration of untreated psychosis and greater symptoms of depression. Further, positive symptoms of psychosis, namely hallucinations and delusions, were found to increase the odds of experiencing suicidal ideation. Findings point toward the implication that depression and positive symptoms of psychosis relate to the experience of suicidal ideation among individuals with a FEP and should be evaluated for and treated in the early stages of treatment.