National Suicide Prevention Week is September 10-16, bringing awareness to the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. This week is a time for physicians, nurses, and other providers to learn more about how their healthcare organizations can help suicidal patients.
In 2013, 9.3 million adults had suicidal thoughts, 1.3 million attempted suicide, and 41,149 died. Even more worrying is that the rate of suicides has increased 24% between 1999 and 2014. And as of March 2017, Joint Commission surveyors have been putting special focus on suicide, self-harm, and ligature observations in psychiatric units and hospitals. Surveyors are documenting all observations of self-harm risks, and evaluating whether the facility has:
- Identified these risks before
• Has plans to deal with these risks
• Conducted an effective environmental risk assessment process
To learn more about suicide prevention in healthcare, check out the following websites and articles.
- Suicide Prevention Resource Center
- CDC suicide prevention resources
- Physician training on Suicide Prevention
- Joint Commission announcement on increased suicide focus
- Joint Commission FAQ on ligature risk
- FGI’s Design Guide for the Built Environment for Behavioral Health Facilities, version 7.2
- Bringing universal suicide screening to your hospital
- Identifying best practices for suicide prevention
- How to spot suicide and ligature risks in your facility