Preventing recurrent suicidal behaviour.
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OBJECTIVE: To highlight recent empirical evidence for effective interventions that can guide family physicians in managing patients after suicide attempts. QUALITY OF EVIDENCE: Randomized control trials of psychosocial interventions for people after suicide attempts have provided some evidence for effective interventions. MAIN MESSAGE: Suicide attempts are more common than suicides; the number of attempts seen in a family practice is estimated to be 10 to 15 yearly. Up to two thirds of patients who take their lives by suicide have seen a family physician in the month before their death. Principles of care after a suicide attempt include actively engaging the patient, involving the family, restricting access to means of suicide, and developing intervention plans to deal with the psychopathology that has placed the patient at risk. CONCLUSIONS: Family physicians have a crucial role in preventing suicide through aftercare and ongoing monitoring of patients who have attempted suicide.
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