Practical Strategies for Caring for Patients at Risk During the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating risk factors for suicide, which is being reflected in significant increases in calls to local and national suicide hotlines; suicide prevention during COVID-19 is crucial. Many patients who die by suicide visited their primary care provider within the month of their death, and most were not connected to mental health treatment. As such, primary care providers and their teams are in a unique and critical position to identify and care for patients at risk for suicide.

This training provides concrete steps for primary care providers to identify and care for patients at risk for suicide. Providers will learn how, during the course of any primary care visit (including telephonic visits), to provide suicide safer care and gain a greater understanding of suicide and risk. Join this informative webinar, and a community of over 1500 primary care providers and their teams who have been trained to date, to gain practice tips and knowledge on how to provide evidence-based primary care treatment to patients at risk for suicide.

This session on suicide prevention during COVID-19 was hosted on Wednesday, April 29, 2020.

Presenter: Virna Little, PSyD, LCSW-r, SAP, CCM, Chief Operating Officer, Concert Health

Many of the tools described in the webinar are available in the Suicide Safer Care Toolkit.

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.