What are some available practice guidelines for suicide prevention?

There are numerous practice guidelines available for suicide prevention. While no practice guidelines are a substitute for the clinical judgement and decision making of your clinician, they can offer useful information and serve as a good reference. They may often cover topics around forming a plan for safety, assessing for risk of self harm or suicide, and minimizing any current risk. It is important to note that your treatment and any plan around suicide prevention may often not be the same as recommended in a guideline for several reasons including the fact that many guidelines are not updated to reflect the newest evidence, the need to personalize your care to your unique needs, and the clinical experience of your clinician. You can read several guidelines that CSS-SMI  has assembled including one from the American Psychiatric Association (APA), one from a commercial insurer, one from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and another from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Of note, these are offered as references and we do not endorse any one guideline, but instead recommend you discuss your personal treatment with your clinical team. If you are worried that you or someone you care for may be at risk of self harm or suicide, it is critical you seek professional help immediately as these guidelines are not intended to replace or substitute for clinical care. You can always access the The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 at anytime.

Practice Guideline for the Assessment and Treatment of Patients with Suicidal Behaviors (APA, published 2010)

Clinical Practice Guideline for Assessing and Managing the Suicidal Patient (Magellan Healthcare, published 2018)

VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for the Assessment and Management of Patients at Risk for Suicide (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense, published 2013)

Clinical Guidelines: Screening for Suicide Risk in Adolescents, Adults, and Older Adults in Primary Care: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement (Annals of Internal Medicine, published 2014)

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