Emergency Care of Suicidal Patients

  • Ellen L. Bassuk
Part of the Critical Issues in Psychiatry book series (CIPS)


Suicide is the ninth leading cause of death in the United States and currently accounts for 60 to 70 deaths per day. Its rate has increased slightly since the turn of the century and is now approximately 12.7 per 100,000 population.1 Many more people attempt suicide than succeed. In recent years the number of attempts, especially by drug overdosage, has climbed to epidemic proportions and has led to a rise in the number of associated hospital admissions. The reported ratio of eight attempts to one completed suicide is significantly underestimated.2 In addition, countless people seriously contemplate the act without carrying it out. Many of these individuals require professional help. Taken together, the entire range of suicidal feelings, impulses, and acts constitutes a major health care problem and reflects the untold suffering of large numbers of people.


Suicidal Behavior Suicidal Thought Suicidal Patient Suicidal Intent Crisis Intervention Team 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ellen L. Bassuk
    • 1
  1. 1.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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