How emergency departments can help prevent suicide among at-risk patients: Five brief interventions


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

Camera facing presentation


Video/Audio Recording
Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)
Education Development Center, Inc (EDC)

This nine-minute video describes five brief interventions which can be used to prevent suicide prior to discharge from emergency departments.

  • Brief patient education helps patients understand their condition, treatment and follow-up strategies.
  • Safety plans are developed collaboratively with clinicians guiding patients to identify coping strategies and resources patients can use before or during a suicidal crisis.
  • Lethal means counseling engages patients in a discussion to limit access to means of suicide until they no longer feel suicidal.
  • Rapid referral schedules follow-up mental health appointments within 24 hours of discharge. Caring contacts consists of ongoing contact with discharged patients via postcards, letters, phone calls or various other media.