Thursday, October 16, 2014 - 12:46
Health workers poorly trained in suicide prevention
According to professor of clinical psychology Ad Kerkhof, there are unnecessarily many suicides among patients who are being treated in a mental health institution. This is partly due to the fact that aid workers in these institutions are not adequately trained to treat patients with suicidal thoughts. According to Kerkhof the nursing- and ohter mental healt staff often do not dare to talk to patients about suicide, because of a taboo. Since 2012 a guideline has applied to mental health institutions for patients with suicidal thoughts. Mental health care providers can receive special training where they learn to ask about suicidal thoughts in patients. According to Kerkhof only 10 percent of the 50 thousand workers in mental healthcare have received the training. The number of suicides in the Netherlands increases every year. In 2012 1,753 people took their own lives. In 2002 it was 1,567. Suicides occur increasingly in mental health institutions. Between 2008 and 2013 the number of suicides increased by 21 percent. Kerkhof finds the increasing number of suicides in mental health institutions worrying. "It says that despite all our efforts, we still can not fix this disaster."