No conversation about death by suicide is easy, even if you’re a health professional. But the relationship that people build with their primary care doctors over time can be seen as an opportunity for suicide prevention.
Research shows that people who die by suicide are more likely to have seen a primary care provider in the previous month before their death than any other health care provider. But even some medical professionals fear that asking about suicide could lead to suicide even though studies show that isn’t the case. Below are resources that can better equip medical professionals on how to start the conversation about suicide and play greater role in preventive efforts.
988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline – People can call or text the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or chat at 988lifeline.org. Crisis workers, who are trained to help people who are in emotional distress, are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide free and confidential support.
Suicide Prevention Resource Center – The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) is the only federally supported resource center devoted to advancing the implementation of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.
Zero Suicide - A quality improvement model that transforms system-wide suicide prevention and care to save lives. Zero Suicide seeks to change the way health systems care for people with suicidal thoughts and urges.
National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention – the nation’s public-private partnership for suicide prevention, working with more than 250 national partners to advance the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. Current Action Alliance priority areas include transforming health systems, transforming communities, and changing the conversation.
Suicide Risk Screening Training: How to Use the ASQ to Detect Patients at Risk for Suicide
Lisa M. Horowitz, PhD, MPH
Office of the Clinical Director Intramural Research Program
National Institute of Mental Health
There are a number of trainings that can help health professionals learn more about suicide, warning signs, and how to respond to crisis. View Trainings