Safety Planning to Prevent Suicide

September 17, 2014 12:30 PM

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Safety Planning to Prevent Suicide

In a poignant account in the Sacramento Bee (August 13, 2014), Craig Lomax described the events leading up to his college freshman daughter's death by suicide. Lomax and his wife had paid their daughter Linnea a surprise visit at her dormitory, where they interrupted her preparing to make a suicide attempt with an overdose of pills. Their visit prevented the attempt. Linnea was hospitalized in a nearby psychiatric facility. After a week and a half, she was considered stable enough to be released and referred to outpatient care. She went to an outpatient clinic for an initial day-long appointment, but left in the middle of the day and disappeared. She was found several weeks later having died by suicide.

The tragic death of Linnea Lomax suggests we need to provide more than a referral for an outpatient appointment to better help individuals grappling with suicidal feelings. Transitions from hospital inpatient stays and emergency room visits are high risk periods for fatal outcomes. These periods of ...

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