"We should treat suicide prevention in health care systems as we treat heart attack prevention." - National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, Recommended Standard Care for People with Suicide Risk: Making Health Care Suicide Safe
When a person with symptoms of a possible heart attack reaches the emergency room, medical staff know exactly what they need to do to assess this risk and respond. The same is not always true for a person who may be at risk for suicide.
Although we now know what works in suicide prevention and suicide care, much of this knowledge is not being translated into practice at health systems across the country. The Action Alliance is committed to advancing the widespread adoption of these evidence-based practices as the standard care for suicide risk.
Recommended Standard Care Report
To advance progress in this area, the Action Alliance (Recommended Standard Care Work Group) developed Recommended Standard Care for People with Suicide Risk: Making Health Care Suicide Safe. Released in 2018, the report describes the basic elements of suicide care that should be standard in health care settings.
The report also presents specific recommendations for four settings:
- Primary care
- Outpatient behavioral health care (mental and/or substance use treatment)
- Emergency department
- Inpatient behavioral health care (hospital level psychiatric or addiction treatment)