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

Displaying 16 - 30 of 189
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.

PowerPoint and transcript available for download at the link.

Identify | Web

The Ask Suicide-Screening Questions (ASQ) Toolkit is a free resource for medical settings (emergency department, inpatient medical/surgical units, outpatient clinics/primary care) that can help nurses or physicians successfully identify youth at risk for suicide. The ASQ is a set of four screening questions that takes 20 seconds to administer. The Ask Suicide-Screening Questions (ASQ) toolkit is designed for screening youth ages 10-24 (for patients with mental health chief complaints, consider screening below age 10). The ASQ is free of charge and available in multiple languages.

Identify | Web

The Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Suicide Prevention, part of the Department of Veterans Affairs, is offering a free consultation program for any clinician and provider who works with any Veteran at risk for suicide. Consultation topics may include things like risk assessment, conceptualization of suicide risk, lethal means safety counseling, strategies for how to engage veterans at high risk, best practices for documentation, provider support after a suicide loss, and more. 

Engage | Web

Dr. Joseph Simonetti, MD, MPH, physician and suicide prevention researcher talks with the Rocky Mountain MIRECC for VA Suicide Prevention about the disproportionate role that firearms take in Veteran suicides. The conversation explores the benefits of temporary storage of firearms and dispels common misconceptions of firearm safety in the context of collaborative mental health care. Follow the link to listen to the podcast and to find supporting resources on lethal means safety for Veterans at risk for suicide.

Train | PDF

Tips and case studies from Zero Suicide implementors to help improve the response rates for your organization's workforce survey rollout.

Lead | Web

Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Suicide Prevention has released its second trilogy of Zero Suicide-related podcasts. These podcasts originated at the Bridging the Divide conference last May in Denver. 

Why and How Now Matters Now with Ursula Whiteside PhD

At the Bridging the Divide Conference we chatted with Ursula Whiteside (apologies to Ursula on my little faux pas) and she told us why Now Matters Now and how caring messages can go such a long, long way.

An Agency's Approach to Zero Suicide with Richard T. McKeon PhD, MPH

From the 2017 Bridging the Divide Conference we had a short conversation with Richard T. McKeon, Ph.D., M.P.H., Chief of the Suicide Prevention Branch for SAMHSA.

A State's Approach to Zero Suicide with Sarah Brummett MA, JD

Sarah Brummett is the Director of the Office of Suicide Prevention for the State of Colorado. Sarah discusses how the Zero Suicide system approach looks when applied to a whole state. It is amazing.

Lead | Web

This Joint Commission special report offers recommendations from a panel of experts regarding environmental hazards for providers and surveyors and what constitutes adequate safeguards to prevent suicide in inpatient hospital and emergency department settings.

Engage | Web

The Department of Veteran's Affairs developed a Mental Health Guide that offers recommended products and solutions to ensure individuals in inpatient care have a safe and therapeutically-enriching environment.

Transition | Web
Abstract: Providing follow-up calls to patients after they leave the hospital is not only good clinical practice, but it can help with the bottom line. In this study, the authors estimated the return on investment (ROI) for every $1 spent calling patients with suicidal ideation or deliberate self-harm who had been discharged from a hospital or emergency department. The ROI for the calls ranged from $1.76 to $2.43—a significant return that the authors concluded “supports the business case for payers, particularly Medicaid, to invest in postdischarge follow-up calls."
Engage | Web

The Department of Veteran's Affairs developed a Mental Health Environment of Care Checklist for Veterans Affairs Hospitals to use to review inpatient mental health units for environmental hazards. The purpose of the checklist is to identify and abate environmental hazards that could increase the chance of patient suicide or self-harm. 

Transition | PDF, Web

In a Zero Suicide approach, safe suicide care in health and behavioral health organizations involves establishing guidelines and protocols that create smooth and uninterrupted care transitions across and within care settings. It is equally important to address suicide risk at every visit within an organization, from one behavioral health clinician to another or between primary care and behavioral health staff in integrated care settings. Some examples of innovative approaches to providing safe care transitions include establishing practices that remove barriers to scheduling follow-up appointments, creating agreements between acute care settings and outpatient providers to deliver care to discharged patients within 24 hours, using supportive contacts, involving peer support, and utilizing crisis services to provide care coordination and follow-up. During this webinar, presenters will help participants think of ways they can improve safe care transitions through their organizational policies using a variety of tools and resources.

By the end of this webinar, participants will be able to (1) Identify key care transition practices and partnerships for patients discharged from inpatient to outpatient care, (2) describe how one organization includes voices of individuals with lived experience in care transition practices, and (3) demonstrate how health and behavioral health organizations can establish partnerships with crisis service organizations to augment care transition practices.

Transcripts available on request. Please direct requests to

Lead | Web

In this interview from The Rural Monitor, Dr. Don Warne touches on some of the root causes of the health disparities affecting American Indian communities and the importance of focusing on culturally appropriate and intergenerational solutions.

Lead | Web

This Joint Commission Sentinel Event Alert describes how leaders can develop cultures of safety within organizations, including how to address system-wide flaws in care.


This Joint Commission Sentinel Event Alert discusses the common miscommunications that can happen when a patient with suicidal ideation is transitioned between care teams as well as tips for higher quality hand-offs.

Improve | PDF

A concise explainer of the research base for the Improve element of the Zero Suicide approach.


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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.