Zero Suicide Framework

What is Zero Suicide?

The basic belief of Zero Suicide is that suicide deaths for persons under care within health and behavioral health systems are preventable. It presents both a bold goal and a hopeful 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 basic responsibility of health care
  • To the safety and support of clinical staff, who do the demanding work of treating and supporting people with suicidal thoughts

The programmatic approach of Zero Suicide is based on the understanding that people with suicidal thoughts often fall through the cracks in a sometimes disconnected and distracted health care system. An orderly approach to quality improvement in these settings is both available and necessary.

The challenge and use of Zero Suicide cannot be done by practitioners providing clinical care alone. Zero Suicide needs a system-wide approach to improve results and close gaps.