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Treatment of suicide attempters and prevention of suicide and attempted suicide 

Treatment of suicide attempters and prevention of suicide and attempted suicide
Treatment of suicide attempters and prevention of suicide and attempted suicide

Keith Hawton

and Tatiana Taylor

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date: 16 May 2022

Suicide attempts occur for a wide range of reasons. In many cases the primary aim is not death but some other outcome, such as demonstrating distress to other people, seeking a change in other people’s behaviour or temporary escape. This means that a broad range of treatments are required since the needs of individual patients will vary widely. Treatments for suicide attempters include both psychosocial and pharmacological approaches. While these are considered separately below, in some patients both will be appropriate. This might be the case, for example, if a patient suffers from depression with biological features in the setting of employment and financial difficulties, when treatment with an antidepressant might be combined with problem-solving therapy. Suicide prevention programmes have been established in many countries. This is to be welcomed, not only because of the potential benefits in terms of suicide prevention, but also because of the likely benefits for the broader population of individuals with mental health problems. When considering prevention strategies, it is important to be aware of and sensitive towards issues relating to culture and ethnicity.

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