Development of a clinical guide to enhance care for suicidal patients


Suicidal thoughts and behavior are common among mental health patients and are a source of stress for clinicians, who typically receive limited formal training on suicide. The U.S. Air Force initiated a project to enhance care and increase practitioner confidence when working with suicidal patients. A clinical guide was developed containing 18 recommendations for assessing and managing suicidality, strategies for meeting the recommendations, and clinical tools to facilitate quality care. Training opportunities and marketing efforts accompanied distribution of the guide. This initial article reviews the guide's development, content, and evaluation plan as a model that other health care systems, clinics, or training programs can follow to enhance care for suicidal patients. Outcome data will be presented in a follow-up article.

Publication Title

Professional Psychology: Research and Practice