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Our principle objective was to examine the personal and professional impact of service user (SU) suicide on mental health professionals (MHPs). We also wished to explore putative demographic or clinical factors relating to SUs or MPHs that could influence the impact of SU suicide for MHPs and explore factors MHPs report as helpful in reducing distress following SU suicide.
A mixed-method questionnaire with quantitative and thematic analysis was utilised.
Quantitative data indicated SU suicide was associated with personal and professional distress with sadness (79.5%), shock (74.5%) and surprise (68.7%) particularly evident with these phenomena lasting less than a year for more than 90% of MHPs. MHPs also reported guilt, reduced self-confidence and a fear of negative publicity. Thematic analysis indicated that some MHPs had greater expertise when addressing SU suicidal ideation and in supporting colleagues after experiencing a SU suicide. Only 17.7% of MHPs were offered formal support following SU suicide.
SU suicide impacts MHPs personally and professionally in both a positive and negative fashion. A culture and clear pathway of formal support for MHPs to ascertain the most appropriate individualised support dependent on the distress they experience following SU suicide would be optimal.
To describe similarities and differences in mental health legislation between five jurisdictions: the Republic of Ireland, England and Wales, Scotland, Ontario (Canada), and Victoria (Australia).
An in-depth examination was undertaken focussing on the process of involuntary admission, review of Admission Orders and the legal processes in relation to treatment in the absence of patient consent in each of the five jurisdictions of interest.
All jurisdictions permit the detention of a patient if they have a mental disorder although the definition of mental disorder varies between jurisdictions. Several additional differences exist between the five jurisdictions, including the duration of admission prior to independent review of involuntary detention and the role of supported decision making.
Across the five jurisdictions examined, largely similar procedures for admission, detention and treatment of involuntary patients are employed, reflecting adherence with international standards and incorporation of human rights-based principles. Differences exist in relation to the criteria to define mental disorder, the occurrence of automatic review hearings in a timely fashion after a patient is involuntarily admitted and the role for supported decision making under mental health legislation.
Childhood sexual abuse has previously been associated with adult mental health difficulties, however, few studies have evaluated all forms of childhood maltreatment in individuals attending adult mental health services. Consequently, this study investigates the association of five forms of childhood trauma with a range of clinical symptoms and mental health disorders in 136 individuals attending a mental health service in Ireland utilising the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ).
One hundred and thirty-six patients attending the Roscommon Mental Health Services completed the CTQ and a number of additional psychometric instruments evaluating illness severity, impulsivity, disability and the presence of a personality disorder(s) (PD) to ascertain the prevalence of childhood trauma and any potential associations between childhood trauma and a range of demographic and clinical factors.
Seventy-six per cent of individuals reported childhood trauma, with emotional neglect most frequently reported (61%). Individuals who had experienced childhood trauma had higher rates of clinical symptoms, distress and impulsivity. Substance abuse and paranoid, borderline and antisocial PDs most associated with childhood trauma.
This study demonstrates the need to routinely elicit information on all forms of childhood traumatic experiences from patients.
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