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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.
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