Clinicians

Suicide attempt survivors (SAS) need clinicians to be formally trained in working with suicidal people, so clinician may be calm and confident enough to work with SAS in a supportive, caring, “person-centered” way, focusing on each patient’s needs, as opposed to focusing on their own clinical anxieties about liability and making mistakes.

Suicide attempt survivors need clinicians who do not believe that suicidal thoughts alone require hospitalization, and who understand that coercion can be stigmatizing, demeaning, and traumatizing.

Suicide attempt survivors need clinicians to work in collaboration with patients, to be open to hearing the patient’s reasons for living and dying, to be able to help them identify, value and use their strengths and natural supports, to promote their choices wherever possible, and be open about what they would do if a patient talks about suicidal thinking or a suicide plan.

Suicide attempt survivors need clinicians who can be advocates and supporters for their patients, who can help them stand up against and cope with any repercussions from their suicidal experience that their patient might face in their personal relationships, on campus, in their career, or elsewhere.

Suicide attempt survivors need clinicians to find ways to speak out about their own experience with suicidal thinking and push back against the stigma that remains high in the health and mental health fields.

Return to main Suicide Attempt Survivors Task Force page