Increasing access to and providing quality mental health services are not only effective suicide prevention strategies, but also key components of a comprehensive suicide prevention approach.
Mental health professionals are on the front lines in helping individuals at risk for suicide. These professionals may be social workers, nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, or mental health counselors working in schools, private practice, community behavioral health organizations, and nursing homes.
In the outpatient setting mental health professionals provide a range of therapeutic treatments shown to be effective in reducing suicidal behaviors in patients who may be at high risk for suicide. However, identifying clients at serious risk of suicide and in need of intervention are major challenges for mental health professionals for reasons related to capacity, practice standards, and the complexity of suicide.
No matter what setting you work in as a mental health professional, you can take a variety of steps to prevent suicide:
The following resources will help you get started: