After an attempt: A guide for medical providers in the emergency department taking care of suicide attempt survivors


(For resources, this is the publication date. For programs, this is the date posted.)


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

This brochure provides tips for emergency department providers to enhance care for individuals who have attempted suicide.

Originally developed by the National Alliance on Mental Illness and endorsed by the American College of Emergency Physicians, this 7-page brochure provides practical information regarding Emergency Department care of suicide attempters. The brochure addresses the following topics:
•Patient Care in the Emergency Department: Helpful Tips
•Communicating With a Patient’s Family or Other Caregiver
•Communicating With Other Medical Professionals About a Patient
•Patient Discharge From the Emergency Department: What the ED Can Do To Ease the Transition
•Resources for Professionals in the Emergency Department


Those who read the brochure should:
1.Have increased awareness of tips that will enhance care of suicide attempters.
2.Have increased awareness of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPAA), patient discharge, and resources about suicide for medical professionals, patients, and their families.

Implementation Essentials:

•Brochures should be provided to emergency department staff for distribution along with the following National Suicide Prevention Lifeline brochures that address the needs of those who attempt suicide and their families:

◦After an Attempt: A Guide for Taking Care of Yourself After Your Treatment in the Emergency Department.
◦After an Attempt: A Guide for Taking Care of Your Family Member after Treatment in the Emergency Department.

•Emergency room physicians should be familiar with the American Psychiatric Association’s Practice Guideline for the Assessment and Treatment of Patients with Suicidal Behaviors.