A study by a Harvard University professor published in the British Journal of Psychiatry reports that risk factors for suicide are consistent across seventeen countries. According to the study, the risk factors for suicidal thoughts, plans and attempts are; being female, having a mental disorder, being unmarried and being younger and less educated. This study was based on surveys designed and distributed by the World Health Organization.

Of those surveyed 2.7% admitted having attempted suicide and 9.2% had thought about it at some point in their lives. The study also points out those suicidal tendencies are not just correlated with depression, but with those having impulse control problems, substance abuse and anxiety disorders. However, the study found that the type of disorder, as a risk factor, varied between countries having an on average higher income than those countries with an on average lower income;

The strongest risk factor associated with suicidal thoughts and behaviors were mood disorders in high income countries and impulse control disorders in low- and middle-income countries.