Year: 2018 Source: International Journal of Mental Health Nursing. (2018). doi: 10.1111/inm.12481 SIEC No: 20180483

More research is needed for supporting mental health nurses in their caring for suicidal individuals. This study aimed to describe what characterizes a recovery-oriented caring approach, and how this can be expressed through caring acts involving suicidal patients and their relatives. Delphi methodology was used, and research participants were recruited as experts by experience to explore a recovery-oriented caring approach in a dialogical process between the experts and the researchers. The results highlight that it is important to acknowledge the view of the uniqueness of each person and reflected understanding of each individual person and experience. The results also reveal that a recovery-oriented caring approach is characterized by a ‘communicative togetherness’. This communicative togetherness is associated with enabling a nurturing and caring space for suicidal patients to really express themselves and to reach for their own resources. The recovery-oriented caring approach has thereby potential to facilitate a mutual understanding of the complexities of the patient’s situation, and supports patients in influencing their care and regaining authority over their own lives. Accordingly, mental health nurses need to listen sensitively to what suicidal patients really say by acknowledging their lifeworlds and being open to individual variations of their recovery processes. This includes recognizing available and supportive relatives as capable of contributing to the patient’s life project to continue living.