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Identify and document suicide risk

Vol. 6, No. 11 / November 2007

The stepwise risk assessment in the article “Suicide intervention: How to recognize risk, focus on patient safety” is very precise and hits the bull’seye for risk assessment (Current Psychiatry, September 2007). It is important that we identify the predictors of suicide because risk is a dynamic concept and difficult to determine in all cases. Dr. David J. Muzina provided a good discussion of the risk factors associated with suicide and “protective factors.” This article will help me perform a better suicide risk assessments when on call and during routine clinical work.

Vineet Padmanabhan
Bangor, North Wales, United Kingdom

I found “Suicide intervention: How to recognize risk, focus on patient safety” to be interesting and informative. However, there is one group at high risk for suicide that was not mentioned. That is the group that suffers from gender identity dysphoria (GID) or “Harry Benjamin syndrome” (HBS) as it is now becoming known.

Major reasons for suicide in this group include feelings of helplessness, rejection by family, lack of support, and abuse from the public in general. Also, transsexuals might become depressed because of job discrimination and inability to raise required funds to pay for gender correction surgery.

I am familiar with the subject as I had GID/HBS but was fortunate enough to be able to pay for my surgery. I belong to an online suicide prevention group where we supply information, encouragement, and the telephone numbers of group members who may be contacted for immediate emotional support.

Pamela J.S. Dunn
Wesley Chapel, FL

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