Law Enforcement

The Role of Law Enforcement Officers in Preventing Suicide This sheet provides basic information to help law enforcement officers recognize and respond to people who may be suicidal or at high risk. It also contains a list of relevant resource materials and organizations. Download the pdf here.

QPR Training for Law Enforcement Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) for Law Enforcement is a 90-minute online certificate training program that teaches law enforcement professionals how to detect, intervene with, and refer someone at risk for suicide. Adapted from the broader Question, Persuade, and Refer emergency mental health gatekeeper training intervention, it teaches members of the law enforcement community to recognize and respond positively to someone exhibiting suicide warning signs and behaviors. 

Policy-Mental Health Collaboration Toolkit This toolkit provides resources for law enforcement agencies to partner with mental health providers to effectively respond to calls for service, improve outcomes for people with mental illness, and advance the safety of all. The tools can also be adapted for use by campus safety organizations. Technical assistance for law enforcement organizations is available.

Training - In Harm's Way: Law Enforcement Suicide Prevention  In Harm’s Way: Law Enforcement Suicide Prevention is an eight-hour train-the-trainers program that provides a comprehensive, holistic approach to stress management and suicide prevention for law enforcement and corrections professionals in order to reduce suicide risk. 


Emergency Departments

Emergency department patients presenting with intentional self-harm or suicidal thoughts are at increased risk of suicide in the year after their visit.

Video: How emergency departments can help prevent suicide among at-risk patients: Five brief interventions

This nine-minute video (SPRC) describes five brief interventions which can be used to prevent suicide prior to discharge from emergency departments: 

  • Brief patient education helps patients understand their condition, treatment and follow-up strategies.
  • Safety plans are developed collaboratively with clinicians guiding patients to identify coping strategies and resources patients can use before or during a suicidal crisis.
  • Lethal means counseling engages patients in a discussion to limit access to means of suicide until they no longer feel suicidal.
  • Rapid referral schedules follow-up mental health appointments within 24 hours of discharge. Caring contacts consists of ongoing contact with discharged patients via postcards, letters, phone calls or various other media. 

This online training from SPRC teaches healthcare professionals who work in the ED how to conduct screening, assessment, and brief interventions like the ones described above. Addresses patient-centered care for patients with suicide risk, patient safety during the ED visit, and incorporating suicide prevention into discharge planning.

Zero Suicide is a quality-improvement initiative to build capacity within health care organizations to prevent suicide. 

Click here for Zero Suicide in Wisconsin and Training Opportunities>>>

NIMH Research Highlight: Brief Suicide Prevention Interventions in Acute Care Settings May Reduce Subsequent Suicide Attempts 

A research project supported by NIMH analyzed multiple studies to determine the effectiveness of brief suicide prevention interventions in acute care settings. 



Toolkit: Continuity of Care for Suicide Prevention: The Role of Emergency Departments 

 This document provides recommendations and key steps for managing patients at risk for suicide in emergency departments while ensuring that there is effective screening, follow-up and discharge planning. 

Care Transitions

"Effective transitions in care can help reduce suicide risk among individuals receiving health or behavioral health services. One example would be a person with suicide risk who connects with outpatient mental health services following an emergency department visit. Unfortunately, far too often these individuals fail to connect with needed services, particularly following a suicidal crisis. "

Zero Suicide Toolkit on Care Transitions >>



After an Attempt: A guide for medical providers in the emergency department taking care of suicide attempt survivors (SAMSHA)

Those who read the brochure should: 1.Have increased awareness of tips that will enhance care of suicide attempters. 2.Have increased awareness of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPAA), patient discharge, and resources about suicide for medical professionals, patients, and their families.

Specific Strategies that Emergency Responders Use to Connect with Particularly Challenging Individuals Reviews the Three D's approach, Distraction, Disruption or Diffusion, that emergency responders can use with individuals experiencing a traumatic response.

How Can Emergency Responders Manage Their Own Response to a Traumatic Event? Aimed at emergency responders, this information sheet lists methods for coping during—and following—emotionally overwhelming traumatic events.