JOURNAL ARTICLE

Primary care assessment of patients at risk for suicide

Valerie Bono, Christine Lazaros Amendola
JAAPA: Official Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants 2015, 28 (12): 35-9
26556217
Primary care providers (PCPs) play a crucial role caring for patients with depression, managing antidepressant therapy, and assessing patients for suicide risk. Ten percent of the more than 20 million primary care visits for depression each year involve mental health issues, and account for 62% of the antidepressants prescribed in the United States. Psychiatric disorders appear to be underrecognized and undertreated in primary care. Suicidal ideation is present in a significant percentage of depressed primary care patients but rarely discussed. This article describes the warning signs and risk factors associated with suicide and recommends screening tools that can help PCPs identify patients at risk.

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