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Zero Suicide Initiative
The Zero Suicide model is a comprehensive approach to suicide care which aims to reduce the risk of suicide for all individuals seen in health care systems. Zero Suicide represents a commitment to patient safety – the most fundamental responsibility of health care – and to the safety and support of clinical staff who treat and support suicidal patients.
Zero Suicide is a key concept of the 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (NSSP) which calls for suicide prevention to be a core component of health care services and for the implementation of effective clinical and professional practices for assessing and treating those at risk for suicide.
The foundational belief of Zero Suicide is that suicide deaths for individuals under care within health and behavioral health systems are preventable. It presents both a bold goal and an aspirational challenge. Zero Suicide encompasses seven core goals to:
- LEAD - Create a leadership-driven, safety-oriented culture committed to dramatically reducing suicide among people under care. Include survivors of suicide attempts and suicide loss in leadership and planning roles.
- TRAIN - Systematically screen of all patients to assess suicide risk among those receiving care within the health and behavioral health care system. Developing a competent workforce via system-wide, comprehensive, and timely suicide care training.
- IDENTIFY - Systematically identify and assess suicide risk among people receiving care.
- ENGAGE - Ensure every individual has a pathway to care that is both timely and adequate to meet his or her needs. Include collaborative safety planning and restriction of lethal means. Ensure every individual has a pathway to care that is both timely and adequate to meet his or her needs. Include collaborative safety planning and restriction of lethal means.
- TREAT - Implementing effective, evidence-based treatments that directly target suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
- TRANSITION - Providing continuous contact and support, especially after acute care.
- IMPROVE - Applying a data-driven quality improvement approach to inform system changes that will lead to improved patient outcomes and better care for those at risk.
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Zero Suicide is a priority of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance) . The Action Alliance is the public-private partnership advancing the NSSP by championing suicide prevention as a national priority.
ResourcesSuicide Prevention in Primary Care edition of eSolutions which focuses on common warning signs of suicide, as well as a profile of New York FQHC.
Suicide Prevention Toolkit for Rural Primary Care contains tools, information, and resources to implement suicide prevention practices and overcome barriers to treating patients at risk for suicide in a primary care setting.
Sentinel Event Alert 56: Detecting and treating suicide ideation in all setting [PDF - 233 KB] — The Joint Commission
Zero Suicide in Health and Behavioral Healthcare – Video interview with Donald Warne, MD, MPH, Oglala Lakota and Chair, Department of Health, North Dakota State University
Suicide Care in Systems Framework [PDF - 3 MB] – from the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (NAASP) Clinical Care and Intervention Task Force 2011 report.