Support Safe Care Transitions and Create Organizational Linkages
Effective transitions in care can help reduce suicide risk among individuals receiving health or behavioral health services. One example would be a person with suicide risk who connects with outpatient mental health services following an emergency department visit. Unfortunately, far too often these individuals fail to connect with needed services, particularly following a suicidal crisis.
Planning for care transitions, and making them as easy as possible for patients and providers, is an important part of a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention.
- Make a follow-up appointment for the patient before discharge from the hospital or inpatient psychiatric facility (ideally, for within 48 hours of discharge).
- Involve family, friends, and other loved ones in the plans for care transition.
- Make follow-up contacts (e.g., by e-mail, text, phone calls) with the patient and check with providers to make sure that the person is receiving follow-up care.
- Develop agreements among hospitals, behavioral health providers, crisis centers, and others to facilitate safe transitions between settings.
- Transmit patient health information to referral providers.
See the Partnerships and Collaboration section of our website to learn more about working with other provider organizations.