Caring for Adult Patients with Suicide Risk: A Consensus Guide for Emergency Departments
This guide is designed to assist Emergency Department (ED) health care professionals with decisions about the care and discharge of patients with suicide risk. Its main goal is to improve patient outcomes after discharge. The guide helps ED caregivers answer these questions:
- How can I effectively intervene while this patient is in the ED?
- Can this patient be discharged or is further evaluation needed?
- What will make this patient safer after leaving the ED?
All clinical information provided in this guide is meant to complement, not replace, provider judgment.
Questions about this Guide? Contact Adam Chu, Senior Project Associate, Health and Behavioral Health Initiatives.
About the Guide
This guide was developed with extensive input and guidance from a Consensus Panel of experts from emergency medicine and suicide prevention organizations including people with lived experience.
To learn about the Consensus Panel members, see the Consensus Panel Roster
- To view Consensus Panel educational materials, click on the following links
For more information about the Consensus Panel process, please contact Adam Chu, Senior Project Associate, Health and Behavioral Health Initiatives.
- ED Guide Resources: Complete listing. Appendix B of the Full Guide. It contains a complete listing of every resource referenced in the guide with the full URL.
- ED-SAFE Study Materials. Study materials from ED-SAFE, an NIMH-funded, 8-site suicide prevention project. The major goals are to examine: the impact of screening ED patients for suicide risk, the effect of an ED-initiated intervention on suicidal behavior, and the economic impacts of treatment as usual, screening, and the intervention.
- Is Your Patient Suicidal? ED Poster and related materials. A four-color poster that provides Emergency Department practitioners with information on recognizing and responding to acute suicide risk. It is designed to be posted in staff-only areas.
View the ED Guide press release.