What do we teach psychiatric residents about suicide?

That was the topic of an article in the journal Academic Psychiatry early this year. Chief residents of psychiatry training programs across the U.S. were surveyed to find out more about what psychiatrists learn about suicide in their training, as well as how they learn it.

The plus side is that the programs indicated that they do provide instruction on suicide care, both in the formal classroom and less formally through grand rounds, case conferences, and journal clubs.

But it was interesting to see that chief residents reported that some core topics related to suicide care still need more attention. It's not that the programs aren't covering suicide warning signs or standards of clinical care - they are. It's more that the people on the ground doing the work of psychiatry feel that the programs aren't giving enough attention to these issues.

What could be done to bring suicide directly into training curricula for all mental health professionals?

Copyright 2009 Elana Premack Sandler, All Rights Reserved

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