September is National Suicide Prevention Month. How can primary care providers make a difference and save lives? By asking, listening, safety planning and intervening with check-ins and connections. Now more than ever it is important to be part of the solution. Visit our website for more information.
Alarmingly, suicide rates have steadily increased 30% between 2000 and 2020 (1). Firearms remain the leading cause of completed suicides in youth. Since 2020, access to guns has increased and 80% of youth who shoot themselves use a family-owned weapon (2). Ingestion rates have also notably increased in 10–12-year-olds presenting to the ED (3). Below are screening and safety planning tools. They can be easily integrated into an office practice to help you be the one to prevent suicide
Illinois DocAssist is your partner for the mental health needs of your pediatric patients. Stay tuned for our next e-newsletter about positive suicide risk: interventions and resources.
- All healthcare providers must competently screen for suicide risk in their patients (see instructional videos below in Resources).
- The Joint Commission and other healthcare governing bodies have mandated screenings such as the EHR- ASQ, C-SSRS, SAFE-T, etc.
- The AAP set guidelines for universal screening starting at age 10 for all new patients and all patients not screened within the past 30 days with known risk factors.
- The PHQ-9 is NOT validated for suicide screening. Not all children who experience suicidal thoughts experience depression and use of depression screenings alone can fail to identify 28% of youth at risk for suicide.
- Screening instruments can found at Illinois DocAssist, NIMH, AAP, and SAMHSA.
Links for educational videos can be found at:
- National Institute of Mental Health – Education Screening Video
- Suicide Risk Assessment in Youth – YouTube
- C-SSRS Behavior Demonstration – YouTube
1) Garnett, M.F., Curtin, S.C., & Stone, D.M. (2022). Suicide Mortality in the United States, 2000–2020. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db433.htm
2) Peña, P. A., & Jena, A. (2022). Child deaths by gun violence in the US during the COVID-19 pandemic. JAMA Network Open, 5(8). https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.25339
3) Sheridan, D. C., Grusing, S., Marshall, R., Lin, A., Hughes, A. R., Hendrickson, R. G., & Horowitz, B. Z. (2022). Changes in suicidal ingestion among preadolescent children from 2000 to 2020. JAMA Pediatrics, 176(6), 604. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamapediatrics.2022.0069