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Journal Article


Ross J, Darke S, Kelly E, Hetherington K. Drug Alcohol Rev. 2012; 31(6): 790-796.


National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.


(Copyright © 2012, John Wiley and Sons)






Introduction and Aims. Clients of drug and alcohol treatment services represent a high-risk group for attempted and completed suicide. The current study sought to examine suicide risk assessment practices in Australian generalist residential rehabilitation services. Design and Methods. Semistructured interviews were conducted with managers of residential rehabilitation services and with volunteers from staff responsible for the case management/treatment of clients. Results. Ninety per cent of services participated. In total, 64 managers and 142 staff were interviewed. One-third of services had no documented policy for the assessment and management of suicide risk, and one-quarter of staff had never received formal training in risk assessment. In more than one-third of agencies staff were not expected to use a structured suicide risk assessment tool when assessing a client's acute risk. To varying degrees agencies were gathering information about psychiatric comorbidity, but this information did not appear to be routinely integrated into the client's suicide risk assessment. Discussion and Conclusions. The development of clearly documented polices, standardised assessment tools and the provision of annual training for all staff would help to address some of the gaps identified in current practice.[Ross J, Darke S, Kelly E, Hetherington K. Suicide risk assessment practices: A national survey of generalist drug and alcohol residential rehabilitation services. Drug Alcohol Rev 2012].

Language: en


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