It is devastating when a person who has recently been discharged from a psychiatric hospital dies by suicide. The act demonstrates the patient’s suffering, lack of hope, disappointment, and despair. Family members and next of kin are hit by sorrow and crisis. Often they will blame themselves or feel that the psychiatric services were inadequate. For the psychiatrist who treated the patient, a postdischarge suicide can be associated with self-blame and the risk for being accused of misconduct.
Nordentoft M, Erlangsen A, Madsen T. Postdischarge Suicides: Nightmare and Disgrace. JAMA Psychiatry. 2016;73(11):1113–1114. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.2010
Psychiatry in JAMA: Read the Latest
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.