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Patient Suicide in Institutions: Emotional Responses and Traumatic Impact on Swiss Mental Health Professionals

Dolores Angela Castelli Dransart Ph.D.SW, Elisabeth Gutjahr MA SW, Alida Gulfi MA, Nadine Kaufmann Didisheim PHD, MD & Monique Séguin PHD.

Death Studies


The reactions of professionals after a patient suicide are still a subject of controversy in academic literature. This article reports on retrospective data about the aftermath experienced by mental health professionals working in institutional settings in Switzerland. Findings indicate that both self-rated emotional responses and traumatic impact were low for the majority of the 258 professionals surveyed. Variables that mediated the impact included the support received and the characteristics of the professional-patient relationship. No significant differences were found with regard to gender and profession.



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