July 19, 2024

Suicide Prevention in Primary Care

Addressing Suicide Prevention for Underserved Patients

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, and the suicide rate continues to increase. Contrary to popular belief, mental illness or depression account for less than half of suicide deaths in the United States. The main factors that contribute to suicide deaths include: relationship problems, substance use, physical illness and chronic conditions, job loss, and financial troubles. The link between suicide and the social determinants of health suggests that primary care providers are in a position to identify the risk of suicide as well as intervene with patients who they deem are at risk for suicide.

Using the Zero Suicide framework as a foundation, ACU created the Suicide Safer Care curriculum to train primary care providers and their teams on skills for suicide risk assessment, evidence-based interventions, referral and transition when needed, and how to change the culture of addressing suicide risk across the clinician’s practice.

In 2018-2019, ACU conducted trainings in eight states for 1,060 providers. Analysis of the pre- and post-training surveys clearly demonstrated that the Suicide Safer Care training is effective in increasing the knowledge, skills and confidence among clinicians to care for patients at increased risk for suicide. Read the 2019 Report of the Suicide Safer Care Pilot.

Suicide Prevention Webinar

Suicide Prevention PowerPoint

Suicide Prevention Toolkit

To request a training or a printed copy of the Suicide Prevention in Primary Care Toolkit, please contact Sabrina Edgington at sedgington@clinicians.org.

Click for Additional Resources on Routine Screenings and Assessment in Primary Care and the Care Management and Referral Process