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Treatment of suicide attempts and suicidal patients in psychiatric care 

Treatment of suicide attempts and suicidal patients in psychiatric care
Chapter:
Treatment of suicide attempts and suicidal patients in psychiatric care
Author(s):

Lars Mehlum

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198570059.003.0063
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date: 18 August 2019

No other known risk factor has such a high suicide prevention potential as a psychiatric disorder. However, to release this potential psychiatric care needs to be made more available to suicidal individuals, and there is a necessity to establish a continuity of care between hospital and outpatient treatment for patients who have been admitted after a suicide attempt. In this chapter important aspects of the psychiatric treatment of suicidal individuals are described. The importance of conducting systematic and repeated clinical risk assessments, providing treatments targeted at the patient’s needs and instigating safety measures according to the actual risk level is re-inforced. Treatment standards should be kept high through continuous staff education measures, clinical supervision, adherence to written procedures, and should be improved through suicide review procedures whenever there has been a severe suicidal incident within the context of the clinical unit.

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