Sign In
CPSI Share                                                                      

​​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

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the individual and system factors that contribute to incidents of suicide and self-harm
  • Understand the steps that can be taken to prevent suicide and self-harm

Want to learn more? Download the module.

This document was revised in September 2017.

For more information, contact us at