Psychosocial Approaches to Suicide Prevention: Applications to Patients With Bipolar Disorder
J Clin Psychiatry 2001;62(suppl 25):56-64
© Copyright 2015 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
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Hopelessness, dysfunctional attitudes, and poor problem-solving abilities are psychosocial risk
factors that have been identified as predictors of suicide. These psychosocial risk factors may help
clinicians apply specific therapies and treatments to patients with bipolar disorder at risk for suicide.
A search of the literature on suicide prevention revealed 17 randomized, controlled studies, which the
authors reviewed to determine the efficacy of strategies aimed at eliminating psychosocial risk factors
for suicide. Three strategies emerged as efficacious: (1) applying interventions to elicit emergency
care by patients at times of distress; (2) training in problem-solving strategies; and (3) combining
comprehensive interventions that include problem solving with intensive rehearsal of cognitive,
social, emotional-labeling, and distress-tolerance skills. On the basis of their review of the literature,
the authors make recommendations for suicide prevention for patients with bipolar disorder.