Lifelines pp 137-153 | Cite as

Intensive Care for Suicidal Patients

  • Stephen C. Schoonover


Despite the difficulties assessing which patients are dangerous and in need of immediate protection, many forms of intensive psychiatric care are effective for treating the acutely self-destructive individual. In any case, the issue of physical safety must not distract the clinician from focusing on the nature of the patient’s internal life, the meaning of the suicide attempt, and the availability of environmental supports. In addition to understanding patient’s dilemma, the caretaker should know the assets and limitations of various treatments. Therefore, this chapter describes a general approach toward the intensive interventions with the suicidal individual which takes into account both the characteristics of the patient and the care settings. The entire range of closely supervised treatment modalities is described with a particular focus on the methods employed in an inpatient milieu.


Suicidal Behavior Suicide Prevention Inpatient Unit Suicidal Patient Staff Morale 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen C. Schoonover
    • 1
  1. 1.Harvard Medical SchoolUSA

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