Preventing suicide in primary care patients: the primary care physician's role

Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2004 Sep-Oct;26(5):337-45. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2004.06.007.


Suicide is a critical public health problem that primary care physicians potentially can help address given that distressed patients frequently visit them in the weeks and months preceding the successful suicide. This article considers factors placing the patient at high risk for successful suicide and clinical assessment techniques available to the primary care physician. Patients who wish to harm themselves but still lack an articulated plan for doing so can be treated by the primary care physician with the monitoring assistance of a depression care manager and appropriate consultation by a mental health specialist.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Case Management
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy
  • Humans
  • Personality Assessment
  • Primary Health Care* / statistics & numerical data
  • Referral and Consultation / trends
  • Risk Assessment
  • Suicide / psychology
  • Suicide / trends
  • Suicide Prevention*
  • United States