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The training of mental health professionals is an important component of suicide-prevention programs. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in different Italian regions to evaluate knowledge of, and attitudes toward, suicide as well as the experience of a patient's suicide or a suicide attempt in early career psychiatrists (ECPs) and trainees (N = 338). The Suicide Knowledge and Skills Questionnaire and the Impact of a Patient's Suicide on Professional and Personal Lives scale were administered. Furthermore, symptoms of intrusion, avoidance, and arousal were examined through the Impact of Event Scale in ECPs and trainees who had experienced the suicide of a patient or a suicide attempt. Participants with training were more confident in the clinical management of suicide-risk patients. The group with experience of a patient's suicide reported more suicide skills except for support and supervision. Finally, the participants who reported a patient's suicide presented a more conservative patient selection, difficulties in relationships, loss of self-esteem, dreams linked to suicide, intrusive thoughts of suicide, guilt, and anger. Our results show that knowledge of, and attitudes toward, suicide are essential in the management of suicide-risk patients.

Original publication




Journal article


Brain Sci

Publication Date





suicide knowledge, suicide prevention, suicide skills, training professionals