Analysis

Patients at risk of suicide: how to talk openly and offer support

Having a terminal or life-limiting illness can increase a person’s risk of taking their own life. Find out how to have compassionate conversations and offer support

Having a terminal or life-limiting illness can increase a person’s risk of taking their own life. Find out how to have compassionate conversations and offer support

  • Suicide was once considered a taboo subject, but it is now recognised that having a direct, compassionate conversation with someone you suspect is planning to take their own life can help them feel better
  • This can be particularly relevant for patients with terminal or life-limiting illnesses, such as cancer or chronic heart disease, who are more likely than the general population to take their own lives
  • What to say to patients, how to direct them to treatment options or support services, and why nurses need to consider their own emotional needs when a patient dies by suicide
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