Zero Suicide Framework

What is Zero Suicide?

The foundational belief of Zero Suicide is that suicide deaths for individuals under care within health and behavioral health systems are preventable. It presents both a bold goal and an aspirational challenge. Zero Suicide is rooted in culture change and quality improvement. Health systems have shown that it works in reducing suicide deaths for people in care. This has been successful in other systems and can be successful in your treatment setting.

For health care systems, this approach represents a commitment:

  • To patient safety, the most fundamental responsibility of health care
  • To the safety and support of clinical staff, who do the demanding work of treating and supporting suicidal patients

The programmatic approach of Zero Suicide is based on the realization that suicidal individuals often fall through the cracks in a sometimes fragmented and distracted health care system. A systematic approach to quality improvement in these settings is both available and necessary.

The challenge and implementation of Zero Suicide cannot be borne solely by the practitioners providing clinical care. Zero Suicide requires a system-wide approach to improve outcomes and close gaps.