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Why is follow-up care important for people who have attempted suicide?

Increasing evidence shows that depression and other mental illness are recurrent and chronic, and suicidal behavior in a number of people follows a similar path. Moreover, in people who have made suicide attempts and who have recurrent suicidal ideation and suicidal behaviors, adherence to medication and treatment regimes often is poor. Furthermore, after hospitalization, attempters often are returned to the same problematic environments that contributed to their suicide risk. Thus, improved acute and long-term care and psychosocial interventions have potential to decrease rates of suicidal behavior.
Follow-up and continuity of care have critical importance, especially during the four weeks after a suicide attempt and particularly after discharge from an inpatient facility or hospital emergency room. In addition, the intent and intensity of suicidal feelings vary over time and require ongoing assessment. Even the poorest of countries usually have emergency hospitals staffed by physicians. Persons who make the most serious attempts come to hospitals, and, particularly in developing countries, the community cares for persons who make less serious attempts.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.