'This place is making me more depressed': The organisation of care for suicide attempters in a South African hospital


J Bantjes, A Nel, K A Louw, L Frenkel, E Benjamin, I Lewis.


People who attend hospital following a suicide attempt represent a well-delineated high-risk group of patients who may be amenable to targeted interventions to reduce the risk of suicidal behaviour. Little is, however, known about how hospitals in South Africa respond to suicide attempters, what quality of care these patients receive or what possibilities exist for hospital-based suicide prevention interventions. We describe an ethnographic study conducted at a large hospital in South Africa to investigate the impact of current procedures and practices on the care received by those who attempt suicide. Findings suggest that the organisation of care within the hospital is a significant barrier to patients receiving optimal care and represents a lost opportunity for suicide prevention. Findings highlight the mismatch between the needs of suicide attempters and current services and call attention to the need for greater psychological input as well as hospital-based suicide prevention interventions that can be offered to patients without necessitating admissions. AFRIQUE-SUD AFRIQUE TENTATIVE HOSPITALISATION INTERVENTION QUALITÉ-SOIN DÉTRESSE-PSYCHOLOGIQUE SANTÉ-MENTALE PSYCHOLOGIE CULTURE ETHNOMÉDECINE

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