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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What health professional should i send my suicidal husband to?

    My husband is severly depressed after the loss of our son and has suicidal tendencies. What type of health professional should they see?
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    If your husband feels suicidal now he needs to be taken to the nearest emergency department or to be kept safe until he can see a GP or psychiatrist.
    If you need help and are unable to get him to see a doctor and he is going to act on his suicidal thoughts, you can call your local hospital and get the contact details of the CAT TEAM. (Crisis and Assessment Treatment Team)
    If your husband is stable its a good idea to see the GP and get a referral to a psychiatrist.

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    With a passion to see people move forward and break free from the barriers holding them back, Grant is a highly experienced counsellor with over … View Profile

    My heart goes out to you, losing a child is difficult.  Having to deal with your husbands difficulties as well as deal with your own grief must be tough on you so I'd suggest you make sure you have some good support for yourself. I also agree with Melanie, if he is struggling to go about his daily activities eg get up out of bed, eating, personal grooming, going to work, attending to tasks around the house, meeting friends/colleagues etc then I'd suggest he needs to pop along to his GP asap. He or she can then make the appropriate refferal to a counsellor/psychiatrist/CAT Team. My experience in these situations is the longer he is left alone and more withdrawn he becomes the more difficult it will be for him to work through his grief. It can be a difficult balance for you to nudge him along but not push him too much so getting him to his GP may be the easiest. I'd phone through beforehand and give the GP a heads up as well. Take care and don't neglect yourself. 

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    David Lawson

    Counsellor

    We all have times when we need to talk with a person who really listens to us, someone outside our family or social circle - … View Profile

    Sometimes it seems everything happens at once. A 24/7 contact is Lifeline 131114 crisis line.
    Getting your husband to see a male counsellor would be good a start. Talking to a 3rd party about ones problems can provide clarity and allow one to feel less overwhelming. Unless he attempts suicide and has an injury most hospitals will not see him and if they do they will not have the time or training to sit with him and let him talk it out. Going to his GP is important but if he is like most men he will only do so if he has no other alternative. If you approach the situation as one big issue then it will seem almost impossible but if you identify small parts and work on them the overall problem quite often is not as overbearing. Depression is your body saying I can't keep living like this anymore we need to change - the trick is to find those changes and to start the journey to that change. Take Care.

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    Want more love and connection in your life? Want to experience lasting positive change? COMPELLING NEW RESEARCH IN SELF-AWARENESSWe can give you new information that … View Profile

    A.R.E. you ready? This acronym works every time. 

    A = Assess the situation,
    R = Respond with care and empathy,
    E = Encourage seeking support

    YOU READY = have emergency numbers at hand and in large print as vision may become impaired during stress. Perhaps enter them into your speed dial or put the number 1 in front of them so they are on the top of your mobile phonebook, e.g. 1. Ambulance 012. Include Ambulance, Emergency 24 hour GP clinic, police emergency, Crisis Assessment Team, and close friends who can come to your immediate aid if needed. 

    Assess applies to assessing yourself and your husband. I, too, am in agreement with the previous counsellors and doctors. The first step is keep your self safe as you are a primary support, and if you burn out too, then who does the caring? Care for yourself. Google ARAFMI in your state for carer support, debrief with your therapist/counsellor, get help and take time out. 

    Primarily, husband needs professional medical assessment. Depression is a method of coping by suppressing hurt emotional feelings, but there may also be medical reasons for the depression too. Inadequate diet, food allergies, type II diabetes, poor oxygen conversion and so forth can all contribute to deepening depression.

    As well as a medical intervention/assessment both he, and you, will benefit from regular support and consultation with a counsellor who is trained, registered and expert at working through depression and grief. Seek out such counsellors and ask, “Have you been affective in helping people through depression and grief?” 

    Really there is only one issue in counselling, and that is a disconnection from love. The loss of a child would do that very well, my heart goes out to you both, and this loss will be compounded by his awareness of your loss too He may be afraid to raise this, or talk about it, in concern for triggering your grief and causing you pain. The irony is that connection to your hears will heal this, but it hurts when you do. 

    There is only one cure for loss of connection with love, and that is replace, replenish and sure up the love you both share. This will see you both through a very difficult time. Sounds like you have an abundance of that and if you keep sending it to him it will rub off in time. 

    Learn more about the cycle of emotional suppression: to receive my complimentary e-book gift,  “Self Healing for Better Relationships” go to my website http://counselinghobart.com/gift/

    Remember to check everything out with a Doctor first of all, and if possible, remove any methods of self harm or suicide that he may be considering. Keep safe. 

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    Nigel Bailey

    Counsellor, Psychotherapist

    I am a professional counsellor and psychotherapist with a special interest in mens' issues. In a competitive culture that celebrates winners and quickly discards those … View Profile

    Start with your doctor Although not specifically equipped to deal with your husband's suicidal ideation and immediate psychological needs, your GP will have access to mechanisms and services that are designed to keep him safe, as well as support you during this very difficult time. In the longer term, a psychological evaluation may be required to evalute ongoing healthcare support in collaboration with a psychologist or specialist counsellor, but for the immediate future, understand that you are not alone and that expert help is available.

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