9/3/2014, Mental Health Care System Is Failing At Suicide Prevention


Nearly 40,000 people die from suicide in the U.S. every year — a number that has climbed recently.

A federal task force on suicide recommended in 2012 that all mental health professionals “should be trained on how to address suicidal thoughts and behaviors.” One year later, a study conducted at the University of Washington found that a mere 50 percent of psychologists, 25 percent of social workers, and 6 percent of counselors had received training in suicide risk assessment.

One major challenge for mental health professionals in assessing suicide risk accurately is getting patients to open up. The fear of being involuntarily committed to a hospital can deter patients from being honest about their mental health.

“Many men have prayed for death, but no man ever prayed for pain.”

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