Inpatient Mental Health
Long considered the highest level of care available to suicidal individuals, inpatient psychiatric units face a range of challenges in treating suicidality. Today’s inpatient units remain geared toward stabilization of acute symptoms, primarily with psychotropic medication. Even though as high as 60-80% of admissions may be due to suicide risk, adoption of suicide specific treatments is low.¹ Health systems are faced with bridging this services gap while also improving transition care and engagement. National data suggests that individuals are at highest risk for a suicide attempt the week after discharge from a hospital, even for those admitted for reasons other than suicide risk, and the 3 months after hospitalization remain an extremely high-risk period.² Despite this vulnerability, engagement rates for this population remain alarmingly low. Approximately 50-75% of patients do not attend their post hospitalization therapy appointments.³ Reducing suicide risk among those receiving inpatient psychiatric care calls for a systemic approach.
- Sullivan AM, Barron CT, Bezmen J, et al. The safe treatment of the suicidal patient in an adult inpatient setting: A proactive preventive approach. Psychiatry. 2005;76:67–83.
- Chung D, Ryan CJ, Hadzi-Pavlovic D, Singh S, Stanton C, Large MM. Suicide rates after discharge from psychiatric facilities: A systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA psychiatry, 2017;74:7 694-702.Ghanbari B, et. al. Suicide prevention and mental health services: A narrative review. Global Journal of Health Science. 2015;8:5 145-153.