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Primary Care Important to Suicide Prevention

Primary Care Important to Suicide PreventionA new Mayo Clinic paper suggests the family doctor may be the “X” factor for reducing the number of suicides.

Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the United States, and every year, millions of Americans think about taking their own lives. Usually some warning signs exist. Often a simple question from a family doctor can be enough to start a person toward help and treatment.

The new review highlights the opportunity primary care physicians have to establish a successful treatment plan for these patients.

“As doctors, we know patients don’t suddenly consider suicide because we ask if they’ve thought about death,” said co-author Timothy Lineberry, M.D. “Yet, too often a patient with clear risk factors isn’t asked whether they are having thoughts of suicide.”

People receiving care for depression, anxiety or substance misuse are often at risk for suicide. In fact, nearly 45 percent of those dying by suicide saw their primary care physician weeks or days before death.

“A patient with symptoms of depression, severe anxiety or substance misuse should be asked directly about suicide,” Lineberry said. “Unfortunately, research shows that this happens less than half the time.”

The paper highlights the potential benefits for improving depression treatment and decreasing suicide risk in collaborative care of depression treatment models.

In collaborative care, multidisciplinary teams systematically assess patient progress over time, enhance treatment and follow-up and educate patients.

Source: Mayo Clinic

Primary Care Important to Suicide Prevention

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Primary Care Important to Suicide Prevention. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 17, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2011/08/02/primary-care-important-to-suicide-prevention/28265.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.