Dealing with suicidal clients?
April 26, 2011 2:15 PM Subscribe
In my law practice, I regularly encounter clients who are despondent and suicidal. I don't feel that I am well prepared for dealing with this issue. Without considering the ethical issues as to disclosure, what is the best course of action when dealing with a client who tells you that they're considering suicide? What resources are available as a guide to dealing with a suicidal client?
posted by Dignan to law & government (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
A mentally ill client recently called me to tell me that she is considering suicide. This happens often and I'm never sure how to talk to clients who are threatening suicide.
I understand that attorney/client privilege may prevent me from disclosing the conversation. As a result, I am sometimes the only person who has the opportunity to change my client's mindset. But I'm never certain that I'm saying the right things or doing my best to address the crisis.
I'm interested in guides to crisis intervention, but many of these are directed toward medical providers who have different ethical and professional considerations. Are there any guides to handling this from a legal perspective that focus on the actual crisis without getting bogged down in ethical issues? What about non-legal guides for professionals in other fields?