Suicide Prevention: A Primer for Healthcare Professionals
As deaths from suicide continue to rise, identifying and improving care for suicidal patients are emerging as a healthcare priority. Authoritative voices including the Surgeon General and The Joint Commission have called for action. Data showing that a majority of individuals who die from suicide were engaged and seen in healthcare settings shortly before they died reinforce the need for action. Finally, there is now persuasive evidence about effective methods to identify and intervene with individuals who are suicidal.
This chapter addresses this issue, framing suicide prevention as a healthcare responsibility and summarizing the new, evidence-based approaches that contribute to “suicide safe care.” The systematic approach to care labeled “Zero Suicide” is an amalgam of these evidence-based approaches and is proposed as a core strategy to reverse the rising tide of deaths. Elements of the model and resources for healthcare organizations are described.
KeywordsSuicide prevention Zero Suicide Evidence-based treatment Caring contacts Safety planning
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