A second myth about suicide is that focusing resources on high-risk groups reduces the number of suicides. This belief is wrong for two reasons. First, most (86% according to the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness; Appleby et al, 2006) suicides occur in low-risk groups, for the simple reason that although these groups contain individuals at lower risk, they also contain many more members than high-risk groups. Around three-quarters of people who die by suicide have not been in touch with mental health services in the year before their death (Appleby et al, 2006): no change in risk management policy for existing patients will affect this group. Second, there is no evidence that addressing risk factors as such has any impact on survival. This is a rather counter-intuitive proposition that requires justification. Very few interventions in psychiatry have been shown decisively to reduce the incidence of suicide: clozapine in schizophrenia, lithium in bipolar disorder and perhaps partial hospitalisation programmes in borderline personality disorder. None of these interventions is given for the primary purpose of reducing risk; they are given as effective, targeted treatments for specifically diagnosed mental illnesses. This distinction is important because giving undue weight to risk assessments draws us away from what Power might call our ‘core business’: treating mentally ill people in an effective and ethically justifiable way.