Nursing

In the know: Handling a suicide threat

Stressed Out Nurses Weekly, May 5, 2010

It is important to remember that most suicide threat attempts are expressions of extreme distress and not harmless bids for attention. Also, any person who has expressed suicidal ideation should not be left alone and needs immediate treatment.

If a person does tell you that he or she is suicidal, here's what you can do:

  • Stay calm and listen.
  • Let the person talk about his or her feelings.
  • Be accepting and do not judge.
  • Ask whether the person has a plan, and if so, what it is.
  • Don't swear secrecy.
  • Do not leave the patient alone. Take him or her with you if you must, so you can get help.

To read more tips, check out HCPro's book, Stressed Out About Difficult Patients

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