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Suicide mitigation: a compassionate approach to suicide prevention

  • Alys Cole-King, Gill Green, Linda Gask, Kevin Hines and Stephen Platt...

The death of a patient by suicide can severely affect mental health professionals, particularly if it occurs despite major efforts to intervene. Notwithstanding the difficulties faced by clinicians, suicide prevention remains of paramount importance in order to help save lives. This article seeks to promote a pragmatic and compassionate biopsychosocial response using evidence-based interventions to reduce suicide. It introduces practical strategies that psychiatrists can use in everyday clinical practice, in particular the paradigm shift of suicide mitigation to help prevent suicide. We believe that every encounter with a suicidal person is an opportunity to intervene to reduce their distress and, potentially, to save a life. We believe that it is no longer acceptable for clinicians to state that if patients wish to kill themselves they can do so, in the absence of any attempt at a compassionate intervention.

Corresponding author
Dr Alys Cole-King, Liaison Team Office, Ablett Unit, Glan Clwyd Hospital, Bodelwyddan, Denbighshire LL18 5UJ, UK. Email:
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This is the first of four articles in this issue of Advances discussing suicide. See also pp. 284–291, 292–294, 295–301.

Declaration of Interest

A.C.-K. is Director of Open Minds Alliance Community Interest Company and instigator and executive producer of the U Can Cope film. A.C.-K., G.G. and L.G. have received funding to develop and deliver Connecting with People training and to develop the community version of Emotional CPR training (Connecting with People/STORM joint project). G.G. and L.G. have received funding to develop and deliver STORM training.

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BJPsych Advances
  • ISSN: 1355-5146
  • EISSN: 1472-1481
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-advances
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Suicide mitigation: a compassionate approach to suicide prevention

  • Alys Cole-King, Gill Green, Linda Gask, Kevin Hines and Stephen Platt...
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