Mental health department investigates state hospital suicide

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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) – The Missouri Department of Mental Health is investigating a patient suicide at a state psychiatric facility.

Callaway County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Clay Chism says the 52-year-old patient hanged himself July 18 at Fulton State Hospital. The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that no foul play is suspected. But Chism says the investigation is ongoing pending a medical examiner’s report.

Mental health department spokeswoman Debra Walker says the agency is looking into whether staff members were negligent.

She says Fulton State Hospital staff members are required to see each patient’s face every 15 minutes. New hires go through suicide awareness training and take periodic refresher courses.

Walker says the suicide is the first at the Fulton mental health facility in the past decade.
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Information from: Columbia Daily Tribune, http://www.columbiatribune.com