After an attempt: A guide for taking care of yourself after your treatment in the emergency department


(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, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Originally developed by the National Alliance on Mental Illness in partnership with the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, and endorsed by the American College of Emergency Physicians, this 7-page brochure provides practical information regarding treatment and follow-up for those seen in a hospital emergency department after a suicide attempt. It was revised in 2018. The brochure addresses the following topics:

• What to expect the day of your attempt
• After the emergency department
• What if you don’t want to go to the hospital?
• Next steps: Moving ahead and coping with future thoughts of suicide 
    o Taking charge of your recovery
    o Finding the treatment and support you need
• Resources including print materials, websites, apps and crisis lines 


Those who read the brochure should:
1.Have increased awareness of the emotional reaction to suicide attempts.
2.Have increased awareness of emergency department procedures regarding discharge and follow-up care.
3.Have increased awareness of treatment aftercare that may decrease the likelihood of re-attempts.

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 family members of those who attempt suicide and emergency department medical staff:

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

2012 NSSP Objectives Addressed: 

Objective 8.4: Promote continuity of care and the safety and well-being of all patients treated for suicide risk in emergency departments or hospital inpatient units.

Objective 9.4: Adopt and implement guidelines to effectively engage families and concerned others, when appropriate, throughout entire episodes of care for persons with suicide risk.