A Practical, Evidence-Based Approach for Means-Restriction Counseling With Suicidal Patients


Assessing a patient's access to potentially lethal means for suicide and taking steps to restrict access to means are common expectations for reasonable outpatient management of suicidal patients. Although scientific evidence supports means restriction as a suicide prevention strategy, means restriction continues to be infrequently utilized by clinicians, in large part because of the general lack of available training and guidance. The present article reviews the conceptual basis and empirical evidence for means restriction, discusses common barriers to means-restriction counseling, and provides practical procedures and tools (e.g., the means receipt, the crisis support plan) for accomplishing means-restriction counseling in routine clinical practice. © 2011 American Psychological Association.

Publication Title

Professional Psychology: Research and Practice