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Secondary Care Across The Lifespan (NURS 3789) Management Of Suicide - Outline

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John Marsh
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Temple University

Generalist Nursing Practice III: Secondary Care Across the Lifespan (NURS 3789)

Management of Suicide – Outline

Management of Suicide:
Introduction:
– Suicide is not a diagnosis or a disorder; it is a behavior.
– Approximately 95 percent of suicides are by individuals who have a diagnosed mental disorder.
Suicide Management:
– CARDINAL RULE
o If ANY psychological assessment of ANY client in ANY setting reveals thoughts of suicide, the
nurse MUST move from the general assessment in progress to an assessment of suicide risk and
management strategies.
Facts:
– Individuals who have a history of suicide attempts are ones most likely to commit suicide
– The accompanying use of drugs and alcohol accounts for a high percentage of suicides
– 50-60% of suicides seek medical care
– Adolescents are likely to engage in “copycat” suicides
– Cults have high risks for suicide
– Suicide becomes an even greater risk as the depression begins to lift and the clients energy returns
Risk Factors:
– Marital Status
– Gender
– Age
– Religion
– Socioeconomic Status
– Ethnicity
– Other risk factors
o Psychiatric illness—Mood disorders are the most common psychiatric illnesses that precede
suicide.
o Other psychiatric disorders that account for suicidal behavior include
 substance-related disorders
 Schizophrenia
 personality disorders
 anxiety disorders
o Severe insomnia is associated with increased risk of suicide
o Use of alcohol and barbiturates
o Psychosis with command hallucinations
o Affliction with a chronic painful or disabling illness
o Family history of suicide
o Having attempted suicide previously increases the risk of a subsequent attempt. About half of
those who ultimately commit suicide have a history of a previous attempt.
o Loss of a loved one through death or separation
o Lack of employment
or increased financial
burden
Why? Psychological Theory:
– Guilt and remorse
– Abandonment (spouse, lover, child)
– Revenge (the ultimate kind)
– Cannot tolerate life anymore

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Secondary Care Across The Lifespan (NURS 3789) Management Of Suicide - Outline

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