ERs often drop the ball after treating suicidal patients
Emergency rooms don't do a very good job coordinating longer-term care for patients who have attempted suicide — increasing the risk that those patients will try again.
By the numbers: In California, the suicide rate for patients who had been admitted to the ER in the past year for suicidal ideation was a full 57% higher, according to a new study.
Between the lines: The study, published Friday in JAMA Network Open, notes that patients discharged from an ER after an incident of self-harm or unintentional injury often do not receive follow-up mental health care.
- Most deaths from unintentional injury were from overdose — 72% in the self-harm group and 61% from those with suicide ideation — underscoring the overlap between suicide and overdose risk, according to the National Institute of Health.
If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (En Español: 1-888-628-9454; Deaf and hard of hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.