BC-Health-of-the-Homeless-Survey-FINAL[1] - Pacific AIDS Network


BC-Health-of-the-Homeless-Survey-FINAL[1] - Pacific AIDS Network

Table 7: Current and past suicidal behaviour among participants (n=489)*

Suicidality Variables n (%)

Ever attempted suicide 183 (37.4)

Ever wished to be dead 116 (23.7)

Ever thought about suicide 110 (22.5)

Attempted suicide in the past month 22 (4.5)

Ever had a suicide plan 14 (2.9)

*Measured using the MINI-PLUS (Appendix B).

Immediate recommendations

The system of care needs to create and increase capacity for crisis response for homeless people beyond

emergency departments or acute care, such as crisis apartments with psychosocial support. Emergency

departments are often overwhelmed with these clients in their usual workflow. In addition the increased

outreach as part of integrated services like street nurses, which would therefore support those most at risk

and address critical deescalation early. Standardized screening for suicidal ideations or other risk factors

should be part of general medical and social services. Lastly, homeless individuals accessing the system

of care should be routinely screened for suicidality; in addition, service providers should be trained to

estimate the risk of suicide and provide crisis intervention.

24 | BC Health of the Homeless Survey

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