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Training Videos: Implementing the Suicide Safety Plan Intervention

In 2019, The Joint Commission revised the National Patient Safety Goals regarding Suicide Prevention. As part of these revised goals, The Joint Commission provided resources for healthcare clinicians including a Safety Planning Webinar with demonstration videos. The following videos briefly illustrate essential aspects of the Safety Planning Intervention. (5.46 min)

Lesson 1:

Dr. Brown conducts a narrative interview with a patient who recently made a suicide attempt by overdose. Dr. Brown focuses on understanding the sequence of events that transpired to identify the Warning Signs that were associated with the escalation of the crisis and to understand how the crisis de-escalated. Next, Dr. Brown reviews key components of the patient’s narrative to illustrate the transient nature of the crises and describes the rationale for utilizing specific coping skills and resources to mitigate risk. Next, he provides an overview of the Safety Plan form and describes how they are going to collaborate to develop individualized responses. Finally, the Warning Signs are reviewed from the patient’s story, explains the rationale for them and asks for feedback.

Lesson 2:

Dr. Brown asks the patient to identify internal coping strategies without reaching out to other people. He explains that these strategies are to be used to distract himself from his problems and how they will help to reduce risk by allowing time to pass so that the urge to act on his suicidal thoughts will also diminish. (2.29 min)

Lesson 3:

Dr. Brown explains that if the internal coping strategies are not helpful for reducing risk, then suggests that the patient proceed to the next step that involves identifying other people or social settings that may also help the patient to distract himself from his problems. Dr. Brown and the patient work together to ensure that the social activities will be helpful and feasible. (3.33 min.)

Lesson 4:

Dr. Brown explains the last step of the Safety Plan is to make the environment safe by reducing access to lethal means. This helps to lower risk by increasing time between the urge to act on suicidal feelings and access to the lethal mean. Together, the patient and Dr. Brown develop an action plan to dispose of the pain medication that is no longer needed. Finally, Dr. Brown and the patient discuss the location of the Safety Plan, reviews how to use the Safety Plan, and discuss the helpfulness and potential barriers to its use. (4.14 min.)

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