Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 10-30-1959


This study was undertaken to: (1) ascertain the patterns of suicide and attempted suicide in a selected city, and (2) explore the need for follow-up by the public health nurse of patients who had attempted suicide. The purposes were to: (l) stimulate an awareness in professional workers of the complexity of the problems inherent in attempted suicides, and (2) explore facets of a program for the prevention of suicide which could be instituted in the field of public health nursing. In the first section, a statistical survey was done to establish the pattern of suicide and attempted suicide locally. It was found that there was no sustained increase or decrease in the suicidal trend and that, over a seven-year period, (l) more females attempted suicide, but more males were successful; (2) the incidence of both suicide and attempted suicide was higher in married individuals of the white race; (3) more individuals under forty attempted suicide, and more individuals over forty succeeded. It was further found that shooting was the most common method of committing suicide, while ingestion was most frequently used in suicidal attempts. There were eighty attempted suicides and twenty-three suicides during the four months of this study. To establish the need for follow-up by the public health nurse, home visits were made to four patients who had attempted suicide. These patients and their families were receptive to the home visit. One patient discussed the attempt without reluctance; the other three discussed personal subjects but avoided discussion of the attempt. A total of eight home visits was made, and the findings were presented in the form of case analysis.