Tuesday 17 October 2017

Patricia Casey: Pregnancy should not change the way we assess risk of suicide

Picture posed by model. Thinkstock
Picture posed by model. Thinkstock

Patricia Casey

Suicide risk assessment is something that every psychiatrist carries out each working day. The first port of call for any person who is suicidal, male or female, pregnant or not, old or young is usually their GP who will then refer them to A&E, the nearest general hospital or their local psychiatrist.

In Ireland, and throughout Western Europe, psychiatric services are organised geographically. Individual psychiatrists have responsibility for an area with specific boundaries, known as sectors. It is enforced rigidly and any person referred to a psychiatrist serving another area will be referred back to their local service.

The multidisciplinary team, delivering this service in each sector, consists of psychiatrists, social workers, psychologists, occupational therapists and community psychiatric nurses.

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