Suicide and self-harm are serious patient safety issues in mental healthcare that have been gaining increasing focus recently. Suicide impacts not only the person with mental illness but also families, friends, and communities.
Contrary to popular belief, most suicides take place in the community, not on inpatient units in hospitals. Efforts to reduce these incidents should therefore be concentrated in this area of the healthcare spectrum. In addition, timely and appropriate identification of risk is key to reducing and preventing incidents of suicide or self-harm. The factors underlying suicide and self-harm behaviours may be unique; however, the processes of assessment and prevention share some important practices.
This module will teach you:
Best practices in risk assessment and prevention of suicide and self-harm, with an emphasis on suicide, for both community and inpatient care providers
Personal- and external-level factors that affect suicide risk
Principles and processes for risk assessment with particular emphasis on therapeutic rapport, communication, and documentation
Strategies for prevention, incident review, and quality improvement
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This document was revised in September 2015.
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