Community care of individuals at risk of suicide: the Life Promotion Clinic model
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Assistance to suicidal patients is problematic both at the hospital and community care level. Inadequacy of facilities, pressured personnel, long waiting time, and professional and social stigmatization are just some of the many issues that interfere with successful treatment. The goal of this paper is to present the functioning of the Life Promotion Clinic (LPC), Australia, and describe its users. The LPC is the first specialized outpatient service in Australia dedicated to the treatment of individuals with suicidal thoughts and behaviors. A description of the service and characteristics of its clients (demographic, psychopathology, risk of suicide) are herein presented. Data were collected for 63 male and 175 female patients who attended the LPC over a three-year period. Patients were mostly single females, aged up to 44 years, poorly educated, unemployed or on a pension/benefit. The majority of patients reported at least one suicide attempt, severe depression and anxiety scores, moderate-severe feelings of hopelessness, and high impulsiveness scores. Compared to females, male patients presented with more active desire to kill themselves and higher level of suicidal ideation. We can conclude that establishing a specialist service for treatment of individuals at increased risk for suicide requires consideration of both patient and clinicians needs. The LPC presents an innovative model of community service, capable of engaging patients with serious mental health issues, while making the service accessible to people from various social categories.
© The Author(s) 2013. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC 3.0) License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, providing that the work is properly cited.
Health and Community Services