Skip to site content

Provider Resources

Health care professionals help to prevent suicide through community education and awareness efforts, and by providing intervention and postvention services.

Medical Providers

Gatekeeper Training

Screening and Assessment

Clinical Practice Guideline

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense (VA/DoD) established a Clinical Practice GuidelineExit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov for the assessment and management of patients at risk for suicide. The guideline identifies critical decision points in the management of suicide risk behavior, and provides clear recommendations on incorporating current information into practice. The guideline is only a tool to assist providers, and is not a substitute for clinical judgment.

Safety Planning

The purpose of a safety plan is to act as an interventionExit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov to provide specific steps and strategies to decrease suicide risk. The safety plan should be completed as part of a suicide risk assessment, in collaboration between the patient and the provider, and should be documented in the medical record, with a copy provided to the patient. A templateExit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov is available as are manual instructionsExit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov on how to complete a safety plan in collaboration with the patient.

The safety plan should include:

  • Recognizing the warning sign of an impending crisis.
  • Internal coping strategies.
  • People or social settings that can provide a distraction.
  • People who can be contacted for help.
  • Professionals or agencies that can be contacted during a crisis.
  • Ways to make the environment safe.