Commentary: Preventing Inpatient Suicide

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The goal of preventing actual suicide was never achieved by the traditional suicide prevention programs (typified by “hotlines”), in spite of decades of national support from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). By their very design, these programs dealt primarily with people experiencing suicidal thoughts. But we now know that a great majority of completed suicides occur in the context of a major psychiatric disorder, whereas suicide ideation and even suicide attempts are, on the whole, nonspecific with respect to diagnosis. Thus, the focus of suicide prevention began to shift toward an emphasis on the diagnosis and treatment of the underlying disorders, principally major depression and bipolar illness.​

J Clin Psychiatry 2003;64(1):12-13