Study Shows Suicidal Patients Often Treated By Negative, Angry Medical Staff

The Black Dog Institute has just released the results of a six year study into the NSW medical system, and how it treats people who have attempted suicide. The findings are concerning at best, and devastating at worst.

Many patients found their medical staff to be ‘negative, angry and irritated’, and a great deal of patients also felt like they were not being taken seriously or respected. 

Some 60,000 people in Australia attempt suicide each year; 2,500 succeed. When speaking to a group of almost 200 people who had either attempted suicide or cared for someone who had, the study found that a quarter had tried to kill themselves five or more times.

Despite these figures, a terrifying 37% of patients were never admitted for psychiatric care, or given any follow-up psychiatric treatment.

An understaffed, undereducated health system appears to be the cause says Dr. Fiona Shand, who conducted the study.

“Many health professionals are committed to providing good care to those experiencing mental illness and suicidal thoughts. Nevertheless, they work within a health system which is under stress, and where staff are increasingly stretched in their efforts to meet the expectations of their patients.”

“Emergency departments are very busy places, staff get burnt out, and despite their best efforts sometimes people don’t respond the way they should.”

If you’d like to learn more about mental illness or suicide, head to BeyondBlue or The Black Dog Institute. You can also read about the six leading causes of suicide in men (and how to prevent it) or how to spot the seven signs of someone thinking about suicide.

Picture: Spec-Net
via SMH / ABC.

Pals, if you’re feeling suicidal or depressed, the wonderful people at Lifeline are happy to take your call on 13 11 14, or chat to you online via You are excellent and you can feel better, we promise.