The study comprises 541 patients admitted to the Poisoning Treatment Centre at Bispebjerg Hospital, Copenhagen; 440 of the patients were psychiatrically evaluated prospectively. The sex distribution was almost equal. In comparison with the normal population there was an overrepresentation of the age groups of 30-49 years old and of 18-19 years old. Only 20% were employed. Sixty-nine percent of the males and 40% of the females were living alone. Forty-six percent of the patients had some sort of abuse. Twenty-one percent suffered from psychotic disorder. Forty-eight percent had at least once before attempted suicide. The group was found to be at high risk of repeating suicide attempt according to a scale developed in the poisoning treatment centre in Edinburgh. The treatment of suicidal patients is discussed.