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Suicide Risk in Inpatient Rehabilitation Settings

presented by Susan H. Eastgard, MSW and Jeffrey Sung, MD

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Disclosure Statement:

Jeffrey Sung: Financial— Jeffrey Sung receives compensation from MedBridge for the production of this course. There are no other relevant financial relationships. Nonfinancial— Jeffrey C. Sung, MD: non-paid consultant to Evidence Based Practice Institute, LLC Susan Eastgard: Financial— Susan Eastgard receives compensation from MedBridge for the production of this course. There are no other relevant financial relationships. Nonfinancial— No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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Video Runtime: 48 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 30 Minutes

The inpatient rehabilitation setting can represent a stressful time for patients. Most patients facing medical illnesses, disability, and other life changes will find resilient ways of coping. Some, however, may respond to these stressors with feelings of isolation, hopelessness, and helplessness that progress to thoughts of death or suicide. "Suicide Risk in Inpatient Rehabilitation" will provide a brief overview of how suicide risk might present in inpatient rehabilitation facilities. The course will review how clinicians can respond in a therapeutic manner to provide empathic connection, understand components of suicide risk, and make appropriate referrals for follow-up care.

Meet Your Instructors

Susan H. Eastgard, MSW

Sue Eastgard is a nationally recognized expert in the field of suicide prevention. She has worked on mental health issues for 30+ years as a clinician, manager, and director of crisis services and suicide prevention efforts. She is currently working as the Director of Training for Forefront, a suicide prevention education and research program based…

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Jeffrey Sung, MD

Jeffrey C. Sung, MD, is an acting instructor with the University of Washington Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Since 2002, his clinical responsibilities have included direct service and consultation in the care of individuals facing homelessness, medical illness, substance use, and psychiatric conditions. He has taught psychotherapy, suicide risk assessment, and managing response to…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Introduction and Risk Factors for Suicide

This chapter will review risk factors for suicide with a focus on those that might be most relevant in inpatient rehabilitation facilities. As the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, a preventable outcome, and a target for improving patient safety, suicide represents an important priority for health care systems.

2. Listening for Risk Factors and Asking Directly

This chapter will provide clinical context for how risk factors for suicide might present in inpatient rehabilitation facilities. Learners will be provided with suggested ways of providing context for a discussion about suicide and recommended language for asking directly about suicidal thoughts. Asking directly about suicide will form the starting point for subsequent clinical care.

3. Connectedness and Suicide Risk

This chapter will provide a rationale for fostering connectedness as a way of responding with empathy to suicide risk. Learners will be presented with the role of fostering a sense of belonging, value, and hope with patients at risk of suicide. Fostering connectedness, as a category of intervention for suicide risk, carries the strongest evidence for preventing suicide.

4. Responding to Suicide Risk in Clinical Settings

This chapter will review clinical support tools that can help guide decision-making in regard to suicide risk in clinical settings. While the learner may not be directly involved in conducting further assessment of suicide risk, understanding how clinical systems respond to risk will help the clinician feel more confident in orienting a patient to next steps in care.

5. Follow-Up Care for Suicide Risk

This chapter will review different categories of intervention for suicide risk, including a general description of inpatient and outpatient options. Learners will be provided with publicly available resources for support in a crisis and an overview of how a safety plan can mitigate risk. While the learner may not be directly involved in providing follow-up interventions for suicide risk, understanding how clinical systems respond to risk will help the clinician feel more confident in orienting a patient to next steps in care.

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