Preventing Suicide in Emergency Department Patients

This resource was selected by SMI Adviser content partners and approved by the SMI Adviser clinical expert team for inclusion in the knowledge base.

Emergency departments (EDs) play an important role in suicide prevention. This course teaches healthcare professionals who work in an ED how to conduct screening, assessment, and brief interventions, such as safety planning and lethal means counseling. It also addresses patient-centered care for patients with suicide risk, patient safety during the ED visit, and incorporating suicide prevention into discharge planning.

After completing this course you will be able to:

  • Describe the roles primary and secondary screening play in detection and prevention of suicide risk behaviors among ED patients.
  • List the core components of suicide risk assessment.
  • Identify steps that can be taken to ensure patients at risk for suicide remain safe during their time in the ED.
  • Describe five brief interventions that can be used with low-risk ED patients who are being discharged.
  • Explain how a discharge planning checklist can be used to promote continuity of care.
  • List three examples of patient-centered care techniques that can be used with patients at risk for suicide that can improve the quality of their visits.

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