Making Health Care Suicide Safe
Released in April 2018 by the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, this report includes the first-ever recommendations on suicide-related standard health care for primary care, behavioral health, and emergency department settings. Since 64% of people who attempt suicide visit a doctor in the month before their attempt, it is essential that people who are at risk for suicide receive timely access to treatments and other health care services that are known to be effective in reducing suicide risk. The new recommendations present feasible, practical, evidence-based actions that health care organizations can adopt immediately.
- Screening patients to identify who is at risk;
- Assessing patients’ level of suicide risk;
- Working with patients to create safety plans that include how they will reduce their access to lethal means, such as firearms or poisons; and
- Completing caring contacts–following up with patients by phone, email, or text within 48 hours of their health care visits.