Many people who make medically serious suicide attempts will present to emergency departments at their local hospital. Guidelines recommend that people who present in this way should receive a suicide risk assessment and a psychiatric assessment, and that a treatment and care plan and crisis plan should be developed for each person before discharge. Follow-up and ask to make sure you get the best possible health care service. Guidelines recommend that family and significant others be consulted for information in assessment of the patient, and in developing treatment, care and crisis plans.
Sometimes people who are at very high risk of suicide can end up in hospital. Having a family member or friend in hospital can be worrying and stressful. Most people in hospital find regular visits from whanau, family and friends important. This does help recovery. One of the advantages of being in hospital is the level of monitoring and safety because people at high risk of suicide are not left alone. It also provides an opportunity to try out medication, if this is necessary, under the watchful eye of experts.
Sometimes a stay in hospital is the best option for recovery – and sometimes it isn’t. Respite is a short-term solution that can sometimes provide an alternative to hospital admission for people who are experiencing distress and crisis. These short-stays are in peaceful, friendly environments in ordinary houses where staff offer support during the day and night. People in respite are carefully monitored closely in these houses and sometimes there are arrangements in which, for their own safety, people are not able to leave the houses on their own. This can provide a place of safety and peace of mind when people are in crisis. In some regions services can provide urgent support to people in respite houses. Ask mental health services about respite care options.