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Toolkit:  Suicide Risk Assessment and Response to Patient Suicide
Ways to Cope


  • Decrease isolation by talking to people

    • Co-residents

    • Chief residents

    • Training directors

    • Attending Supervisors involved in case

    • Attending Supervisors NOT involved in case

    • Prior Attending Supervisors NOT involved in case

    • Therapist

    • Family

    • Friends

  • Consider taking a day off of work at some point after the event to reflect

  • Read literature on suicide risk assessment

  • Read literature on dealing with the death of a patient

  • Engage in Reparative Behaviors

    • Consider being a resource for a younger resident

    • Consider giving a case conference on the topic

    • Consider giving an APA workshop on the topic

    • Consider writing a paper about your experience


[Adapted from Chapter 24: Psychiatrist Reactions to Patient Suicide

by Dr. Michael Gitlin in Simon, RI and Hales, RE. Textbook of Suicide Assessment

and Management. 2006. American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc. Washington, DC. snd the Columbia University Medical Center Packet for Resident Whose Patient Committed Suicide]

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