Zero Suicide: Taking a Systems Approach to Suicide Prevention in Health Care

The Zero Suicide framework is an evidence-informed comprehensive set of practices and tools that aims to improve care and outcomes for all patients at risk of suicide within health and behavioral health care delivery systems. It represents a commitment to patient safety, the most fundamental responsibility of health care, and to the safety and support of health system staff who do the demanding work of treating and supporting suicidal patients. Implementing a bundle of evidence-based interventions together is a challenging mission, but one that leads to health systems transformations that can achieve the bold goal of zero suicides.

 This activity provides an overview of the Zero Suicide framework and describe its core elements. This includes the key clinical, organizational, and continuous quality improvement components that comprise the Zero Suicide framework. Clinical components that are particularly relevant for individuals with serious mental illness (SMI), such as special considerations for suicide risk identification and engagement in suicide prevention interventions will be discussed.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the elements within the Zero Suicide framework.
  • Discuss evidence-informed interventions that exist for improving suicide risk identification and establishing a suicide risk management plan, with emphasis on particular relevance for caring for individuals with SMI.
  • Identify resources available to support implementation of Zero Suicide.