Suicide: A Global Perspective

Indexed in: Scopus, EBSCO.

In the year 2000, approximately one million people died from suicide: a "global" mortality rate of 16 per 100,000, or one death every 40 seconds. In the last 45 years suicide rates have increased ...
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Assessment and Management of Suicide Risk

Pp. 3-8 (6)

Maurizio Pompili

Abstract

The assessment and management of suicide risk are probably the most difficult tasks that clinicians encounter during their professional careers despite the abundant literature and guidelines now available. Each health professional should be able to perform an assessment of suicide risk, although such assessments are usually performed by psychiatrists. During such assessments, clinicians may be helped by psychometric instruments despite the fact that such instruments are not in many cases entirely reliable. The management of suicide risk is an art that must be based on science. Clinicians should evaluate the role of pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy and hospitalization in the reduction of suicide risk, while maintaining high levels of empathy with the patient. At the present time, only lithium and clozapine have shown promise for reducing suicidality, more so than antidepressants. Education of psychotherapists and medical staff remains one of the priorities for better assessing and managing suicide risk.

Keywords:

Suicide, assessment, prevention.

Affiliation:

Department of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Suicide Prevention Center, Sant'Andrea Hospital, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy