Losing a patient to suicide: what we know. Navigating the aftermath
This 2-part article summarizes what is currently known about the unique personal and professional issues experienced by clinician-survivors (clinicians who have lost patients and/or loved ones to suicide). In Part 1, I cover:
the impact of losing a patient to suicide
confidentiality-related constraints on the ability to discuss and process the loss
legal and ethical issues
colleagues’ reactions and stigma
the effects of a suicide loss on one’s clinical work.
Part 2 will discuss the opportunities for personal growth that can result from experiencing a suicide loss, guidelines for optimal postventions, and steps clinicians can take to help support colleagues who have lost a patient to suicide.