A multi-source collection of readings, tools, videos, and webinars to help you understand and implement Zero Suicide.

Displaying 1 - 15 of 188
Train | Web

The presence of a competent, confident, and well-trained workforce at every level of care is critical to individuals at risk of suicide. Data from more than 15,000 health and behavioral health care staff who utilized an online Zero Suicide Workforce Survey indicates that, among those interact with patients or clients, only half had received training in suicide screening or risk assessment and only about a third felt strongly that they had the appropriate knowledge, skill, confidence, and comfort in providing care for individuals at risk of suicide.

It is clear that opportunities remain for improving workforce readiness and ensuring that staff are adequately trained to care for individuals at risk for suicide. While assessing workforce readiness is critical, organizational leadership must also acknowledge and take responsibility for training deficits and prepare staff to deliver evidence-based suicide care. The Zero Suicide Workforce Survey is a free online tool that organizations can use to assess staff knowledge and comfort in working with individuals at risk for suicide.

In this webinar, you will hear from leaders of three health care organizations who used the results of the Zero Suicide Workforce Survey to establish a culture where staff training is a critical and ongoing part of providing quality care. By the end of this webinar, participants will be able to: (1) describe how surveying staff can support system-wide culture change critical to patient safety and continuous quality improvement, (2) understand staff readiness to provide suicide-specific care, and (3) explain the purpose and utility of the Zero Suicide Workforce Survey to health care staff. 

Lethal Means Reduction | Web

SAMHSA’s Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies (CAPT) and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) hosted a national webinar series that explores the intersection of opioid misuse, overdose, and suicide—with an in-depth look at chronic pain as a contributing factor to these related problems.  These webinars examined the national narrative on opioids and suicide, drawing on current research to define the scope of the problem and explore how these health concerns intersect. The purpose of this series was to illustrate the connections between suicide and opioid misuse—so that substance misuse and suicide prevention practitioners can develop a coordinated response to them. The series highlights opportunities for alignment and feature examples of partnerships between the suicide and substance misuse prevention fields.

Engage | Web

Dr. David Jobes discusses the science behind suicide-specific brief interventions. 

Treat | Web

Dr. David Jobes explains the current most promising evidence-based psychological treatments for suicidal ideation.

Engage | Web

Dr. Vince Watts, director of the VA Interprofessional Fellowship in Patient Safety, gives insight on the process of creating collaborative safety plans.

Lead | Web

National Center for Trauma-Informed Care trainer Leah Harris discusses the many ways lived experience expertise can increase the quality of treatment and foster trust between care providers and those receiving care.

Lived Experience | Web

Lived experience expert Diana Cortez-Yanez discusses transitions through care and the supportive contacts that helped her recover.

Lead | Web

Lived Experience expert Diana Cortez-Yanez relates the care she received that made a positive impact on her recovery.

Identify | Web

SPRC designed this guide 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?
Engage | PDF, Web

Suicide and drug overdose deaths in the United States, regardless of age or race, have increased since 2001 and the rate of drug overdose death surpassed that of suicide in 2015 (CDC WISQARS, 2018). There are shared risk factors for suicide and substance abuse, including depression, trauma history, hopelessness, and impulsivity (SAMHSA, 2015). Research indicates that individuals who struggle with substance abuse disorders can also be at increased risk for suicide. For example, in one study, adults who abused opioids at least weekly were more likely to engage in suicide planning and attempts (Ashrafioun, Bishop, Conner, & Pigeon, 2017). Individuals who struggle with substance misuse and abuse are at higher risk for suicide, health care providers undoubtedly encounter these challenging and complex patients. Systems that have adopted a Zero Suicide framework are well suited to embed best practices and training that directly targets the impact of substance abuse on suicide.

This webinar will highlight innovative ways that health and behavioral health care organizations are changing organizational practices and providing improved care for patients with substance abuse disorders who are at heightened risk for overdose and suicide. By the end of this webinar, participants will be able to (1) identify ways to improve staff attitudes and confidence towards working with patients at risk for suicide and overdose deaths, (2) share unique patient engagement and suicide care management plan considerations for this population, and (3) describe the importance of a patient-centered perspective to treating suicide risk and overdose risk concurrently.

The PDF available below includes the webinar slides and transcript. 

Identify | Web

The Suicide Prevention Resource Center has created a seven-minute about The Patient Safety Screener (PSS-3), a tool for identifying patients in the acute care setting who may be at risk of suicide. The PSS-3 can be administered to all patients who come to the acute care setting, not just those presenting with psychiatric issues, and was developed by the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Accompanying materials provide help to administer the PSS-3, plan for patients who screen positive, and implement screening sustainably and effectively. 

Identify | Web

In this episode, Rocky Mountain MIRECC for VA Suicide Prevention speaks with Dr. Bridget Matarazzo about the VA Suicide Risk Management Consultation Program. The program has recently expanded so that anyone working with a Veteran and concerned about suicide can contact them for a free consultation. Bridget discusses the idea behind the service and the team (Hal S. Wortzel, MDSarra Nazem, Ph.D.Georgia Gerard, LCSWKaily A. Cannizzaro, PsyD, and Peter Gutierrez, Ph.D.) that provides the consultation.

Treat | Web

TreamentWorksForVets is a public information website for veterans, family members, and others interested in learning more about proven mental health treatments for veterans. The website uses easy to follow animations, creative videos, and interactive exercises to explain Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia. TreatmentWorksforVets was created by experts in veterans mental health to increase awareness of evidence-based psychotherapies and is supported by the VA Rocky Mountain MIRECC (Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center) for Suicide Prevention.

Train | PDF

Adapted by the THRIVE project at the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board, this document can help all types of organizations understand their Zero Suicide Workforce Survey results. The document includes discussion questions and statements to guide implementing teams through a conversation about their results. 

Engage | PDF, Web

The Zero Suicide framework is based on the foundational belief that gaps in suicide care exist in sometimes fragmented and distracted health and behavioral health (HBH) systems. One population at risk for falling through these cracks is homeless individuals due to a lack of residential stability and the challenges for providers of ensuring successful transitions in care. Rates of suicide deaths among homeless individuals are approximately nine times higher than the general population (Poon et al, 2017). Findings from the most recent Annual Homelessness Assessment Report to Congress indicate that for every 10,000 people in the United States, 17 of them were experiencing homelessness (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2017a). Significantly, 49% met the criteria for a severe mental illness and/or a chronic substance use disorder. Based on Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) data from 8 states, among the approximately 59,000 homeless patients who visited and were released from the ED, about 17% received care related to suicide or intentional self-inflicted injury (Sun, Karaca, & Wong (AHRQ), 2014). In a Zero Suicide approach, HBH providers should have practices in place that keep all patients at increased risk for suicide engaged in treatment, including attending to hard-to-reach populations such as homeless patients. During this webinar, presenters will share innovative and thoughtful ways they have successfully improved patient engagement and optimized safe care transitions for homeless individuals through their organizational policies and practices.

By the end of this webinar, participants will be able to (1) identify commonly experienced challenges in providing suicide care to homeless patients, (2) describe unique suicide screening, risk assessment, and safety planning considerations for this population, and (3) demonstrate how HBH organizations can establish meaningful partnerships with community organizations to augment safer suicide care practices for patients experiencing homelessness.

Transcripts available on request. Please direct requests to


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SPRC and the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention are able to make this web site available thanks to support from Universal Health Services (UHS) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) (grant 1 U79 SM0559945).

No official endorsement by SAMHSA, DHHS, or UHS for the information on this web site is intended or should be inferred.