Year: 2020 Source: International Journal of Mental Health Nursing. (2020). Published online 18 May 2020. SIEC No: 20200432

People who attempt suicide as well as those who actually take their own life often have communicated their suicidal thoughts and feelings to healthcare professionals in some form. Suicidality is one of the most challenging caring situations and the impacts of suicide care affect both the professional and personal lives of healthcare professionals. This study investigates how mental health professionals perceive suicide while providing psychiatric care and how this perception impacts their continued care work. This qualitative exploratory study includes 19 mental health professionals in psychiatry who had provided care for patients who had taken their own life. Analysis followed the principle of phenomenography. The findings reveal that these healthcare professionals experienced an internal conflict that affected them both personally and professionally. In response to these conflicts, the healthcare professionals developed strategies that involved a safety zone and increased vigilance. Those who were able to commute and balance a safe spot and learning to be more vigilant seem to have developed as a result of patient’s suicide. These findings have the potential to help establish a postā€suicide caring process where healthcare professionals learn to make better suicide assessments, become more open to talking about death with patients, and develop a humbler approach to understanding a patient’s suicide.