Clinical work with suicidal people is a demanding area. Little is known about health professionals’ practices when faced with suicidal patients. The aims of this study were to: (1) describe the practices most likely to be adopted by professionals facing a suicidal patient and (2) analyze the differences according to professional characteristics (group, specific training on suicide, and experience with suicidal patients). A self-report questionnaire that was developed for this study was filled out by 239 participants. Participants were psychologists, psychiatrists, and general practitioners who work in different contexts: hospitals, public health centres, schools or colleges, and community centres. Principal components analysis, analyses of variance, and t
-tests were used. Four components were identified: (1) Comprehensive risk assessment; (2) protocols, psychotherapy and connectedness; (3) multidisciplinary clinical approach; and, (4) family, explaining a total of variance of 44%. Positive associations between suicide-related variables (training and experience) and practices were found. In general, health professionals’ practices are evidence-based, however a relevant percentage of professionals can benefit from training and improve their practices.
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