For the suicidal patient, a visit with the primary care provider (PCP) may be the only chance to connect with the health care system and access effective treatment.
Only 32% of the individuals who died by suicide had contact with mental health services in the year before their deaths, but 75% of them saw their PCP.
As a PCP, you can implement some of the most effective strategies for suicide prevention:
Long-standing patient relationships and frequency of contacts between PCPs and their patients make primary care an ideal setting for suicide prevention interventions.
National health care quality improvement trends, such as patient-centered medical homes and primary care and behavioral health integration initiatives, are key opportunities to make suicide prevention practices standard in any primary care office.
The following resources will help you get started: