The impact of patient suicide on community mental health teams

Paul Canning

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Suicide in Scotland is considered an urgent public health issue affecting all aspects of society. The aim of this study was to explore how a patient suicide impacts on members of a community mental health team (CMHT). Six members of one CMHT were interviewed on two occasions, approximately nine months following a patient suicide. An interpretative descriptive model, drawing on elements of grounded theory, phenomenology end ethnography was chosen, using semistructured interviews for data collection. Three main themes of emotional response, communication and clinical implications were clearly described. Emotional response included feelings of shock and surprise, concern and personal impact. Communication included examples of personal, team and management communication in the days and weeks following the suicide. Clinical aspects discussed included the non-replacement of staff and training and experience as sub-themes. Findings in relation to the wider published literature are discussed
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-240
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal Of Mental Health Nursing
Issue number5
Early online date26 Sep 2014
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014


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