Recognising the suicidal patient
Literature’s most famous portrayal of suicide is depicted in William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet, in which the suicide of two young lovers is both romanticised and ennobled. The risk is that such behaviour may be viewed by those who are vulnerable as an appealing option when faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles. In 2010, suicide was the 15th leading cause of death in Australia, accounting for 1.7% of all deaths. Suicide occurs in all age groups, but among the young it is the second most common cause of death, following road trauma.