A Case Study about Continuity of Care for Suicide Prevention and Research
Executive Summary: For patients at risk for suicide, discharge from an emergency room or psychiatric inpatient facility is all too often the beginning of a difficult and unpleasant journey across the landscape of a disarrayed mental health care system seeking fundamental transformation. The present mental health care system is pluralistic with competing, disconnected, and autonomous subsystems and with various types of singularly focused mental health professionals.
Large numbers of these professionals are in independent practice. America’s emergency departments and psychiatric inpatient facilities generally have limited specific assessments, programming, and treatments for people at risk for suicide. Moreover, both can be faulted for doing too little to prevent suicide. Once patients are discharged, the complexity of coordinating and continuing mental health care presents an enormous challenge, confounded by existing fragmentations and gaps in services among service providers.
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