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Recognizing and Managing Suicide Risk 

Recognizing and Managing Suicide Risk
Recognizing and Managing Suicide Risk

Maggie Watson

and Luigi Grassi

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date: 23 October 2019

Suicide rates for cancer patients are above those of the general population and higher than for patients with other medical conditions. The underdiagnosis and/or misdiagnosis of clinical depression and suicide risk by cancer health professionals emphasizes the importance of training in recognizing, assessing, and appropriately managing suicide risk. This chapter covers evidence on assessment of suicide risk, clinical management, and legal and ethical responsibilities that should help reduce and/or improve management of suicide risk. While oncology professionals may want to share with mental health professionals those aspects of cancer patient care relating to their patients’ mental health needs, the ability to manage serious psychological symptoms and deal with a patient in crisis due to suicide risk often lies primarily within the oncology professional’s domain of responsibility. This chapter briefly sets out information that should be useful in managing these aspects of cancer patient care.

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