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Suicide and the psychiatrist: Commentary on… Effects of patient suicide on psychiatrists

  • Allan House (a1)

Summary

Research into patient suicide indicates that it has an impact on the psychiatrists involved, but leaves a number of unanswered questions about which elements of the experience are most likely to cause problems, who is most at risk, what is the clinical or professional significance of any effect on the psychiatrist and how other professionals are affected. Despite these uncertainties, it is clear that a response is needed, with three bodies responsible in different ways for coordinating one: the relevant mental health trust, as employer; the Royal College of Psychiatrists, as the professional representative body; and the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Safety in Mental Health, as mediator of social and professional impact.

Declaration of interest

None.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Allan House (a.o.house@leeds.ac.uk)

Footnotes

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Footnotes

References

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1Gibbons, R, Brand, F, Carbonnier, A, Croft, A, Lascelles, K, Wolfart, G, et al. Effects of patient suicide on psychiatrists: survey of experiences and support required. BJPsych Bull 2019; (this issue).
2Leaune, E, Ravella, N, Vieux, M, Poulet, E, Chauliac, N, Terra, JL. Encountering patient suicide during psychiatric training: an integrative, systematic review. Harvard Rev Psychiatry 2019; 27: 141–9.
3The National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Safety in Mental Health. Annual Report: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales. October 2018. University of Manchester. (https://sites.manchester.ac.uk/ncish/).
4Tsugawa, Y, Jena, AB, Figueroa, JF, Orav, EJ, Blumenthal, DM, Jha, AK. Comparison of hospital mortality and readmission rates for Medicare patients treated by male vs female physicians. JAMA Intern Med 2017; 177: 206–13.
5Séguin, M, Bordeleau, V, Drouin, MS, Castelli-Dransart, DA, Giasson, F. Professionals’ reactions following a patient's suicide: review and future investigation. Arch Suicide Res 2014; 18: 340–62.
6British Psychological Society. Understanding and preventing suicide: a psychological perspective. BPS Position Statement, 2017 (https://www.bps.org.uk/news-and-policy/understanding-and-preventing-suicide-psychological-perspective).
7British Psychological Society. Position Statement. Understanding and Preventing Suicide: A Psychological Perspective. BPS, 2017.

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Suicide and the psychiatrist: Commentary on… Effects of patient suicide on psychiatrists

  • Allan House (a1)
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