Suicides of people being cared for in the community are three times higher than among hospital inpatients, a new report says.
According to The National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness, there are around 200 suicides a year of people cared for by crisis teams. The report suggests that teams are expected to care for patients in need of a more acute level of care, such as being admitted to an inpatient unit.
Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of the mental health charity SANE, says:
“It is a flawed and unacceptable system whereby patients at risk of death by suicide are denied the hospital care that would be given to anyone with life-threatening physical illness and placed in the hands of overworked, understaffed community teams.
“At SANE, we know of too many cases where people have been turned away from A&E to go on to take their own lives. Callers tell us that if they do return home and wait for a visit from a community team, all too often no-one comes, leaving them even more desperate and in a treatment limbo.
“We cannot stand by and watch unnecessary deaths because of a principle that everyone, however ill, should be treated in the community.”
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