Depression and Suicide: An In-depth Analysis
Rodriguez, Vivian M., 1991--
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Suicide is a serious public health concern and tragically claims the lives of tens of thousands of people each year. Depression has now been identified as the most common mental health disorder in the United States. Depression has been linked to suicide and has been identified as a clear risk factor. Despite the current available treatments, suicide rates still increase with each passing year. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the potential causes and risk factors of depression and suicide as well as discuss evidence-based assessment, intervention, and evaluation methods to help clinicians improve the care provided to depressed and suicidal individuals. Methods included conducting extensive research, to contribute to the evidence-based portion of the paper, and completing a volunteer experience at a community mental health center to compare the centers assessment and intervention methods against the literature. Findings indicated that the mental health center falls short in providing complimentary alternative medicine therapies, but that other assessment and intervention methods are consistent with the literature. Additionally, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and non-pharmacological therapies show similar efficacy to second generation antidepressants alone, and shower greater efficacy than a placebo. Moreover, nursing interventions have the potential to improve patient outcomes in depressed and suicidal individuals. Mental health care centers should invest more in the implementation of nontraditional and non-pharmacological interventions such as exercise therapy, bibliotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies in addition to pharmacological treatments where indicated.