useful websites

The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.

AFSP is a voluntary health organization that gives those affected by suicide a nationwide community empowered by research, education and advocacy to take action against this leading cause of death.

To promote the understanding and prevention of suicide and support those who have been affected by it.

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.

Veterans do not live, work, and serve in isolation from the community, the nation, or the world. That’s why we are working with an extensive network of community partners across the country to prevent suicide among all Veterans including those who may never come to VA for care.


involving the Stanley-Brown Safety Planning Intervention

Can a brief suicide prevention intervention reduce suicidal behaviors and improve treatment engagement among patients who present to the emergency department for suicide-related concerns? Click here for article.

The role of crisis hotlines traditionally was limited to de-escalation and service linkage. However, hotlines are increasingly recruited to provide outreach and follow-up to suicidal individuals. Hotlines have the opportunity to not just defuse current crises but also provide brief interventions to mitigate future risk. The Safety Planning Intervention (SPI) is a brief intervention designed to help manage suicidal crises, but its feasibility and effectiveness on hotlines are not established. Click here for article.

Safety planning is a brief intervention that has become an accepted practice in many clinical settings to help prevent suicide. Even though it is quick compared to other approaches, it frequently requires 20 min or more to complete, which can impede adoption. A self-administered, Web-based safety planning application could potentially reduce clinician time, help promote standardization and quality, and provide enhanced ability to share the created plan. Click here for article.

The objective of this study is to summarize staff perceptions of the acceptability and utility of the safety planning and structured post-discharge follow-up contact intervention (SPI-SFU), a suicide prevention intervention that was implemented and tested in five Veterans Affairs Medical Center emergency departments (EDs). A purposive sampling approach was used to identify 50 staff member key informants. Interviews were transcribed and coded using thematic analysis. Almost all staff perceived the intervention as helpful in connecting SPI-SFU participants to follow-up services. A slight majority of staff believed SPI-SFU increased Veteran safety. Staff members also benefited from the implementation of SPI-SFU. Their comfort discharging Veterans at some suicide risk increased. SPI-SFU provides an appealing option for improving suicide prevention services in acute care settings. Click here for article.

Suicide risk on college campuses remains a pervasive problem. Structural deficits in current clinical care models often result in sub-optimal treatment for suicidal students. This study reports on the feasibility, acceptability, and utility of the Safety Planning Intervention (SPI), a brief, empirically validated, clinician-administered suicide prevention intervention, in a university counseling center (UCC) setting. A group of 12 university counseling center direct service staff completed a 2-hour training in SPI. Participants reported on suicide intervention practices, training needs, and confidence at baseline and 10 weeks post-training. Acceptability, utility, and frequency of SPI use were assessed at follow-up. All clinical staff attended the training and found it useful, reporting that confidence in managing suicide risk increased as a result. Two-thirds of staff implemented SPI least once. Results suggest that SPI is a feasible, acceptable, and useful suicide intervention tool for UCCs. Click here for article.

Suicide-related coping refers to strategies for adaptively managing suicidal urges and can be important an important factor for assessing risk and targeting intervention. The current study evaluated whether suicide-related coping predicted a suicidal event within 90-days, independently of other known risk factors. Veterans (N = 64) were evaluated shortly after a suicidal crisis and completed several assessments, including a measure of suicide-related coping. Multivariate analyses showed that suicide-related coping remained protective of a suicidal event (OR = 0.93; p = .047) after adjusting for suicidal ideation, previous suicide attempts, mood disorder, distress tolerance, and gender. Suicide-related coping may augment commonly assessed clinical factors in prediction of a suicidal event and is a suitable target for suicide prevention efforts. Click here for article.

Emergency departments (EDs) are often the primary contact point for suicidal individuals. The post-ED visit period is a high suicide risk time. To address the need for support during this time, a novel intervention was implemented in five Department of Veterans Affairs medical center EDs. The intervention combined the Safety Planning Intervention (SPI) with structured follow-up and monitoring (SFU) by telephone for suicidal individuals who did not require hospitalization. This study assessed the intervention’s acceptability and perceived usefulness. Click here for article.

We implemented an innovative, brief, easy-to-administer 2-part intervention to enhance coping and treatment engagement. The intervention consisted of safety planning and structured telephone follow-up postdischarge with 95 veterans who had 2 or more emergency department (ED) visits within 6 months for suicide-related concerns (i.e., suicide ideation or behavior). The intervention significantly increased behavioral health treatment attendance 3 months after intervention, compared with treatment attendance in the 3 months after a previous ED visit without intervention. The trend was for a decreasing hospitalization rate. Click here for article.

There are no evidence-based, brief interventions to reduce suicide risk in Veterans. Death by suicide is a major public health problem. This article describes a protocol, Suicide Assessment and Follow-up Engagement: Veteran Emergency Treatment [SAFE VET], developed for testing the effectiveness of a brief intervention combining a Safety Planning Intervention with structured follow-up (SPI–SFU) to reduce near-term suicide risk and increase outpatient behavioral health treatment engagement among Veterans seeking treatment at Veteran Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) emergency departments (EDs) who are at risk for suicide. In addition to describing study procedures, outcome measures, primary and secondary hypotheses, and human subjects’ protection issues, the rationale for the selection of SPI–SFU as the intervention is detailed, as are safety considerations for the unique study setting and sample. Click here for article.

The usual care for suicidal patients who are seen in the emergency department (ED) and other emergency settings is to assess level of risk and refer to the appropriate level of care. Brief psychosocial interventions such as those administered to promote lower alcohol intake or to reduce domestic violence in the ED are not typically employed for suicidal individuals to reduce their risk. Given that suicidal patients who are seen in the ED do not consistently follow up with recommended outpatient mental health treatment, brief ED interventions to reduce suicide risk may be especially useful. We describe an innovative and brief intervention, the Safety Planning Intervention (SPI), identified as a best practice by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center/American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Best Practices Registry for Suicide Prevention (, which can be administered as a stand-alone intervention. Click here for article.

Enhancing the ability to cope with suicidal thoughts, urges, and crises is a key component of therapeutic work with suicidal patients. Suicide-related coping can serve as a treatment target, can provide an additional component in the evaluation of suicidal patients, and can serve as an outcome in randomized controlled trials for the prevention of suicide. However, to date, psychometrically sound measures to assess suicide-related coping are lacking. The aim of this study was to examine the psychometric properties of a new measure, the Suicide-Related Coping Scale (SRCS). Click here for article.

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