All suicides (n=12 497) in Taiwan in 2001–2004 were identified from mortality records retrieved from the National Health Insurance Database. Altogether, 95.1% of females and 84.9% of males had been in contact with healthcare services in the year before their death. Females received significantly more diagnoses of psychiatric disorders (48.0% v. 30.2%) and major depression (17.8% v. 7.4%) than males. Such differences were consistent across different medical settings where contact with hospital-based non-psychiatric physicians was as common as with general practitioners (GPs). However, diagnoses of psychiatric disorders were underdiagnosed in both genders.