Reducing Suicide Risk: Challenges and Opportunities in the Emergency Department

Ann Emerg Med. 2016 Dec;68(6):758-765. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2016.05.030. Epub 2016 Jul 21.


Emergency departments (ED) are prime locations for identifying individuals at high risk of suicide and for making life-saving interventions. In an ideal scenario, all ED patients at risk of suicide could be identified and connected with effective, feasible interventions, and this would occur in a supportive system not overburdened by screening or assessment requirements. In this review, we focus on challenges to achieving this ideal--along with potential solutions--at the level of patients, providers, the ED environment, and the larger health care system.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Emergency Service, Hospital*
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening
  • Risk Factors
  • Suicidal Ideation
  • Suicide Prevention*
  • Suicide, Attempted / prevention & control
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology