Effective Care/Treatment

Ensure access to mental health, suicide care and treatment

  • A key element of suicide prevention is ensuring that individuals with suicide risk have timely access to evidence-based treatments, suicide prevention interventions, and coordinated systems of care.
  • Suicide prevention interventions such as safety planning and evidence-based treatments and therapies delivered by trained providers can lead to significant improvement and recovery.
  • SPRC encourages health and behavioral health care systems to adopt the Zero Suicide framework for integrating these approaches into their systems.
  • Reducing financial, cultural, and logistical barriers to care is another important strategy for ensuring access to effective mental health and suicide care.

Provider actions

  • Be aware of just how common mental health symptoms are in general, and how they may, under unfavorable circumstances, lead to increased suicide risk.
  • Help encourage community-wide recognition of suicidal risk. Primary care providers need especially to be aware of these issues, but many other people in other walks of life can help detect and aid people at increased suicide risk: families, friends, and neighbors; first responders (EMTs, firefighters, law enforcement); educators (teachers, coaches); clergy.

Actions in practice

  • In medical settings, especially primary care settings, educate and support all clinic staff in responding to suicidal ideation.
  • Do not use 'safety contracts' or 'no-suicide contracts' in an effort to reduce suicide risk - generally, these are not considered adequate substitutes for thorough assessment and appropriate intervention. The safety planning process has eclipsed 'safety contracts' as a better method of managing suicidal ideation.
  • Take suicide risk seriously, and plan how to detect it and manage it, accordingly.


Mobile apps and Digital Prescription Therapies

  • Reset (SUD)
    • reSET, the first Prescription Digital Therapeutic (PDT) to receive authorization from FDA to improve disease outcomes, is a 90-day PDT for Substance Use Disorder (SUD) intended to provide cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), as an adjunct to a contingency management system, for patients 18 years of age and older who are currently enrolled in outpatient treatment under the supervision of a clinician.
Telehealth Practices All Strategies Resources and Tools