Suicide prevention in primary care
This is a brief summary of tools to help the clinician assess suicide risk, to inform clinicians how to get help and to provide links for both clinician and patient to obtain more information about support.
- Risk factors
- Local help
- Resources for clinician and patient
Anyone may present in a crisis with suicidal ideation. Those at most risk of completed suicide are men, especially men over 40, people with a psychiatric diagnosis, frequent attenders, people on multiple medications, people who have drug or alcohol issues. High risk times are leaving hospital and transition between mental health services.
Evidence says- ask directly about suicidal thoughts including plans and intent. Document protective factors. Consider safety plans. Always take seriously and get help where needed. Ensure the patient has multiple routes to access self help locally. Do not rely only on standard questionnaires for anxiety/depression- do a psychosocial assessment. Ensure booked follow up with the same doctor- consistency is important. Reduce access to means of suicide attempt- so only issue small amounts of medication, and only if indicated.