Survey of Australian and Canadian community pharmacists' experiences with patients at risk of suicide

Andrea L. Murphy, Claire L. O'Reilly, Randa Ataya, Steve P. Doucette, Frederick I. Burge, Luis Salvador-Carulla, Timothy F. Chen, Dani Himmelman, Stanley Kutcher, Ruth Martin-Misener, Alan Rosen, David M. Gardner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The study's objective was to examine Canadian and Australian community pharmacists' experiences with people at risk of suicide. Methods: A survey was developed and administered online. Countries were compared by Fisher's exact and t tests. Multivariable logistic-regression analysis was used to identify variables associated with preparedness to help someone in a suicidal crisis. Results: The survey was completed by 235 Canadian and 161 Australian pharmacists. Most (85%) interacted with someone at risk of suicide at least once, and 66% experienced voluntary patient disclosure of suicidal thoughts. More Australians than Canadians had mental health crisis training (p,0.001). Preparedness to help in a suicidal crisis was negatively associated with being Canadian, having a patient who died by suicide, lacking training and confidence, and permissive attitudes toward suicide. Conclusions: Several perceived barriers impede pharmacists' abilities to help patients who voluntarily disclose suicidal thoughts. Gatekeeper and related suicide prevention strategy training for community pharmacists is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-296
Number of pages4
JournalPsychiatric Services
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes


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