Suicide Prevention Toolkit

We are committed to zero suicides. We recognize the important role you play in our members’ lives through their visits to your practice. We are committed to partnering with you by offering resources to help integrate suicide prevention strategies into your appointments with patients.

Suicide Prevention Websites

In addition to the resources below, we encourage you to explore the resources on these websites for a deeper dive into suicide prevention techniques you can implement in your practice.

  • Zero Suicide Initiative – The Zero Suicide Initiative is a commitment to suicide prevention in health and behavioral health care systems.
  • Suicide Prevention Resource Center – The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) is the nation’s only federally supported resource center devoted to advancing the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation.

Suicide Screening and Assessments

Columbia Suicide Severity Rating ScaleThe Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) is an evidence-based assessment that uses a simple set of questions to screen for suicidal thoughts or behavior.Learn more:·       Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale overview (Columbia Lighthouse Project)·       Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale Questions printable PDF (SAMHSA)Get training:·       Training for Communities and Healthcare (Columbia Lighthouse Project)·       C-SSRS Training Video (Columbia University Center for Suicide Risk Assessment)·       Suicide Identification and Triage Using the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (Zero Suicide Initiative)
Collaborative Assessment and Management of SuicidalityCollaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS), developed by Dr. David A. Jobes, is a “therapeutic framework for suicide-specific assessment and treatment of a patient’s suicidal risk” (CAMS-care).Learn more:·       What is the “Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality” (CAMS)? (CAMS-care)·       Dr. David Jobes on the CAMS Approach (Collaborative Assessment & Management of Suicidality) (PsychAlive)·       Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS) Compared to Treatment as Usual (TAU) for Suicidal Patients: Study Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial (Ryberg, Fosse, Zahl, Brorson, Moller, Landro and Jobes; published in Trials. 2016; 17: 481; authorized under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License)Get training:Learn the essentials of CAMS with the CAMS online training (CAMS-care).
Suicide First AidSuicide first aid can help you recognize when someone may have suicidal thoughts and learn what to do to support their immediate safety.Get training:Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is a two-day interactive workshop in suicide first aid. ASIST teaches participants to recognize when someone may have thoughts of suicide and work with them to create a plan that will support their immediate safety (Suicide Prevention Resource Center).Family and loved ones of the at-risk patient can participate too!
Suicide Risk AssessmentsZero Suicide One-Sheet

Safety Interventions

Safety Plan EducationAfter a comprehensive suicide risk assessment, a patient who is deemed to have a high risk of suicide should develop a safety plan. A safety plan helps your patients list coping strategies and sources of support they can use before or during a suicidal crisis.Help your patients make a plan:·       Safety Plan Template·       Safety Planning Guide for CliniciansGet training:·       Watch the Safety Planning Intervention for Suicidal Individuals video.·       These safety plan resources are from the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.
Lethal Means EducationWhen a patient is deemed to have a high risk of suicide, you can work with them and their loved ones to limit their access to any firearms or other lethal means.Learn more:Review information on Lethal Means Counseling, provided by the Harvard School of Public Health.Get training:Take a free online course on Counseling on Access to Lethal Means (CALM), provided by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Suicide PreventionCognitive behavioral therapy is a short-term, evidence-based psychotherapy for treating a variety of psychiatric conditions, including suicidal behavior.Learn more:·       Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Suicide Prevention (CBT-SP): Treatment Mode, Feasibility and Acceptability(Stanley et al., Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 2009 Oct; 48(10): 1005–1013.)·       A Cognitive-Behavioral Strategy for Preventing Suicide (Current Psychiatry)Get training:Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Training (Beck Institute)
Dialectical Behavior TherapyDialectical behavior therapy is a type of cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy that has been found helpful in the treatment of a variety of mental health disorders (Psych Central).Learn more:·       Overview of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (Psych Central)·       What is DBT? (Behavioral Tech)·       Dialectical Behavioral Therapy – Current Indications and Unique Elements (Chapman, Psychiatry. 2006 Sep; 3(9): 62–68.)Get training:·       Get Clinical Training (Behavioral Tech)·       Online Training Courses (Behavioral Tech)·       Dialectical Behavior Training Certification (Dialectical Behavior Therapy National Certification and Accreditation Association)