The study relates to suicides occurring in Shropshire during 1965 to 1973 inclusive. Psychiatric patients who had committed suicide were compared with others, matched by sex and age who had not done so. The suicide group included a higher proportion of members who had behaved violently, experienced a broken marriage (through death, separation or divorce) or earlier had deliberately harmed themselves, often by dangerous means. Of the psychiatric patients who committed suicide 63 per cent had seen a doctor within a month beforehand, yet very few were receiving adequate physical treatment for depressive illness at the time of their death. Immigrants from eastern Europe were found to be particularly prone to suicide.