The authors discuss the value of short-term psychiatric treatment in the nonpsychiatric wards of a general hospital for patients who attempt suicide. During 1974 a total of 124 such patients were seen in the emergency room of Meir General Hospital in Kfar Saba, Israel. Following an initial psychiatric examination, 110 of the patients were admitted to the internal medicine or surgical wards. After further observation 30 per cent were transferred to psychiatric hospitals, and the rest were treated in the general hospital's nonpsychiatric wards for an average of three days. There were no suicide attempts during hospitalization. The authors emphasize the usefulness of a short hospitalization to separate the patient from his traumatic home environment until his return to it becomes feasible.