Involvement of others

Where practical, and with consent, it is recommended that clinicians inform and involve family, friends or other identified people in the patient’s support network, where this seems appropriate. This is particularly important where risk is thought to be high.

Family and social cohesion can help protect against suicide. It is often useful to share your concerns about suicide risk, since family, friends and carers may be unaware of the danger and can frequently offer support and observation. They can also help by reducing access to lethal means, for example by holding supplies of medication and hence lowering the risk of overdose.

If the person is not competent to give consent 8, the clinician should act in the patient’s best interests. This is likely to involve consultation with family, friends or carers 9.