Objective: Emergency departments (EDs) are often the primary contact point for suicidal individuals. The post-ED visit period is a high suicide risk time. To address the need for support during this time, a novel intervention was implemented in five Department of Veterans Affairs medical center EDs. The intervention combined the Safety Planning Intervention (SPI) with structured follow-up and monitoring (SFU) by telephone for suicidal individuals who did not require hospitalization. This study assessed the intervention's acceptability and perceived usefulness.
Methods: A selected sample of 100 intervention participants completed a semistructured interview consisting of open-ended questions about the intervention's acceptability, usefulness, and helpfulness. Satisfaction with the SPI and SFU was separately evaluated.
Results: Nearly all participants found the SAFE VET intervention to be acceptable, reporting that it was helpful in preventing further suicidal behavior and fostering treatment engagement.
Conclusions: The SAFE VET intervention showed promise as an ED intervention for suicidal patients.