Practical Strategies for Suicide Prevention in Primary Care

The ACU team was joined by presenting team Dr. Virna Little, COO of Concert Health, and Dr. Ursula Whiteside, CEO of who provided information on providing primary care to patients at risk for suicide, identifying patients in your practice as well as information on “language matters.” Providers and their teams will learn some “micro interventions” to use during a primary care visit, risk assessments and safety planning.

This session on suicide prevention in primary care was presented on April 22, 2019.


  • Virna Little, PSyD, LCSW-r, SAP, CCM, Chief Operating Officer, Concert Health
  • Dr. Ursula Whiteside, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, CEO of, and Clinical Faculty at the University of Washington

View the Recording and Slides

Watch the recording
Download the slides

Learn More about Suicide Prevention in Primary Care

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, and the suicide rate continues to increase. Contrary to popular belief, mental illness or depression account for less than half of suicide deaths in the United States. The main factors that contribute to suicide deaths include: relationship problems, substance use, physical illness and chronic conditions, job loss, and financial troubles. The link between suicide and the social determinants of health suggests that primary care providers are in a position to identify the risk of suicide as well as intervene with patients who they deem are at risk for suicide.

Using the Zero Suicide framework as a foundation, ACU created the Suicide Safer Care curriculum to train primary care providers and their teams on skills for suicide risk assessment, evidence-based interventions, referral and transition when needed, and how to change the culture of addressing suicide risk across the clinician’s practice. Find a toolkit, archived webinars, and more on our Suicide Safer Care page.