Suicide Risk Assessment and Safety Planning in Integrated Primary Care Settings: Recommendations for Behavioral Health Consultants
Primary care is an important setting for improving identification and treatment of people at risk for suicide. However, there are few standardized protocols for management of suicide risk in primary care. In this paper, we outline evidence-based practice considerations for behavioral health consultants (BHCs) tasked with conducting suicide risk assessments and safety planning interventions in integrated primary care behavioral health (PCBH) settings. Specifically, we highlight the importance of a nonjudgmental and direct approach to suicide risk assessment, a supportive therapeutic relationship, and a stepped care approach wherein suicide risk is managed in the least restrictive setting possible.