How to Prevent Suicidal Tendency of a Patient?

Suicidal Tendency of Patient:

According to WHO- Suicide may be defined as “Suicide is the act of deliberately killing oneself. Risk factors for suicide include mental disorder (such as depression, personality disorder, alcohol dependence, or schizophrenia), and some physical illnesses, such as neurological disorders, cancer, and HIV infection. There are effective strategies and interventions for the prevention of suicide.”

Suicidal tendency of patient
Fig: Suicidal tendency of patient

Preventive Measure of Suicide or Prevention of Suicidal Tendency of Patient:

The safety measures are as follows:

  1. Observe frequently or continuously on a one to one basis.
  2. Keep the environment free from potential danger such as belts, razor blades, scissors and other sharp objects. Broken glasses of window are to be immediately replaced. Hanging open wires are to be also immediately rectified.
  3. Be aware of the medications that the patient is taking as there are possibilities of his hoarding dosages for future lethal ingestion. Keep the ward drugs in cupboard under lock and key.
  4. Search him and his belongings if the patient leaves the ward or hospital for any reason upon return.
  5. Keep a detailed written description of “suicidal precautions” which arc implemented when patients are identified as suicidal.
  6. Patient should not be left alone even in the bathroom.
  7. Let the patient know that his stressful situation is acknowledge and communicate that he will receive support and help in controlling his emotions/impulses.
  8. Gratify dependency needs during inter-personal relationship with patient as it would reduce the level of anxiety, which in turn, decrease the risk of suicide.
  9. Teach him coping skills.
  10. Discuss with the patient about his suicidal thought, suicidal plans that will probably reduce his anxiety.
  11. Look for suicidal clues.
  12. Establish a no suicide contract.
  13. Explore patient’s strengths.
  14. Promote decision making ability in him.
  15. Set limits on him and be firm, consistent.
  16. Every shift nurses must be aware of suicidal risk patients
  17. Convey the feelings of acceptance and belonging
  18. Promote and reinforce the feelings of beings useful and needed and feelings of accomplishment.

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