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Working together to save lives

Every day is the right day to help your patients who might be at risk for suicide. We’re here for you with resources and support to start that important conversation.

Screening and assessment tools

Identifying suicide risk plays a significant role in preventing it. In fact, the greatest impact may come from screening patients who don’t present with obvious symptoms. So, consider providing a minimum risk assessment for all your patients whether there is a clear risk of self-harm or not. Then readminister when it’s clinically appropriate.

Helping patients make a prevention plan

Safety planning should be an ongoing intervention and conversation — from the first assessment through transitions of care and beyond discharge — not just filling out a form. Making a prevention plan together engages and empowers your patients by giving them a leading role in prevention.

Reaching out after discharge

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Reaching out after discharge

The days after discharge from an inpatient psychiatric unit or emergency room can be a time of higher risk and repeat suicide attempts. Fewer than half of patients typically receive aftercare.

 

But outreach to patients after a suicide attempt or suicidal thoughts may prevent those behaviors. Multiple contacts with patients can help reduce repeat attempts by:

 

  • Showing them that someone cares
  • Reminding them they have access to mental health care
  • Providing information about how to get this care
  • Empowering them to get treatment

Outreach can include personal calls, letters, postcards, in-person or video visits, emails and texts.

 

It’s also important to engage with a patient’s support system. Their family, friends or caretakers can help a patient build life skills and supportive relationships, encourage them to get treatment and stick with it, and provide support during times of crisis.

 
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Let your patients know they’re not alone

National Suicide Preventive Lifeline: Call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) (TTY: 711)

Crisis Text Line: Text TALK to 741741

 

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