distraught man talking with therapist


The suicide rate in the United States has increased steadily over the last two decades, with suicide as the 10th leading cause of death overall in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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Addressing suicide requires a multi-pronged approach that encompasses staff training as well as effective communication of an organization’s policies and procedures. Clinical staff must possess the core competencies they need to identify, assess, and manage risk effectively. Treatment models and assessment tools changes as the research develops, making continual training based on current research essential.

Behavioral Health Organizations

Even behavioral health clinicians need support to tackle the difficult subject of suicide with their clients. And all staff need to have at least a foundational understanding of indicators of suicide risk factors, as well as know what to do if risk levels reach a certain point.

Community Health and Primary Care Organizations

Primary care practices play a critical role in reversing the upward trend in suicide rate, as research has shown that a significant percentage of individuals who die by suicide—up to 45%—have visited their primary care provider within a month of their death.  Indeed, with the shift to providing integrated care within community health centers, there is a major opportunity for positive impact. Physicians, nurse practitioners, nurse educators and even front desk staff, all need role-appropriate training.

Hospitals and Health Systems

Emergency Departments are often the setting in which individuals who attempt suicide receive lifesaving intervention. But individuals who die by suicide have often also been seen in the ED before their death, making the ED yet another setting in which providers must possess core competencies in triaging, assessing and making the appropriate discharge plan for patients at elevated risk of suicide.

Public Safety and Correctional Settings

Mental health professionals and others working in correctional settings must understand how to identify when an individual is at risk for suicide and know what to do for the determined level of risk.

Relias offers courses on suicide risk assessment and treatment that are designed specifically for the various staff at healthcare, human service and public safety organizations.


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Suicide Risk: A Growing Concern

The suicide rate increased 25% in less than two decades across the US, and more than 1 million people have made a suicide attempt in the past year.

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Suicide and Stigma: Isn’t it Time for a Shift in Mindset?

The attitude that mental health and addiction issues are personal failings is a persistent one in our society, making those impacted hesitant to reach out for help. In light of rising suicide rates, how can those in healthcare work to change the narrative?

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3 Steps to Assess and Respond to Suicide Ideation in Acute Care Settings

All clinical staff, regardless of setting, needs to be comfortable with identifying risk factors and screening all patients for suicide ideation.

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The Power of Words: A Primer on Non-Stigmatizing Suicide Terms

The way we communicate about suicide reveals how we think about suicide, and how we think about suicide has everything to do with prevention.

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Training plays a critical role in suicide prevention and treatment efforts. Relias can help organizations:

  • Build a culture committed to reducing suicide and continuous quality improvement
  • Train a staff capable of identifying risk factors, assessing suicide risk, and providing quality care
  • Promote the delivery of evidence-based care
  • Evaluate and monitor staff performance

Speak to a Relias representative to receive a personalized demonstration on how Relias tools and training can support your efforts to reduce suicide among the individuals you serve.

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