Forty-five percent of individuals who die by suicide visit their primary care physician within a month before their death and 67% of those who attempt suicide receive medical attention as a result of their attempt _SAMHSA.gov. Suicidal ideation can present in any healthcare setting. Be aware of suicide risks and warning signs to help prevent suicide. For additional information about suicide prevention within the primary care setting, access the Suicide Prevention Resource Center’s Suicide Prevention Toolkit for Primary Care Practices.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense (VA/DoD) established a Clinical Practice Guideline for the assessment and management of patients at risk for suicide. The guideline identifies critical decision points in the management of suicide risk behavior, and provides clear recommendations on incorporating current information into practice. The guideline is only a tool to assist providers, and is not a substitute for clinical judgment.
Ask the member if they feel suicidal or have thoughts of harming themselves then assess for the following:
Plan- Ask the member if they have a specific plan for how they would hurt themselves.
Access- Ask member if they have access to means they could hurt themselves with _weapons, pills, etc..
Lethality- Assess if the plan is lethal. Is it possible that the member or another person will be harmed?
According to the CDC, additional risk indicators may include specific groups that have higher suicide rates, such as:
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