Clinical Care of People Who May Be Suicidal Policy

Applicable to: See below

Describes: This policy relates to consumers of all ages who are under the care of public mental health services. It is applicable in some non-mental health settings such as Emergency Departments and general hospitals when a person has been accepted for care by a mental health service and there consequently exists a duty of care.

The purpose of the policy is to provide guidance to Health Service Providers about:
  • how to respond to, assess and manage people who may be suicidal. 
  • risk and safety issues and promote the importance of viewing assessment as a continuous process to address changing circumstances. 
  • important principles in the development of local protocols, processes and guidelines to align with the values and objectives of the policy. 
  • the importance of developing and promoting a learning culture and ensuring that clinicians receive both training and practice based support in the multi-disciplinary, clinical environment to enhance recognition, assessment and management of suicide risk.
The policy also promotes:
  • the development and use of Safety Plans and solutions that are primarily safety, rather than risk, focused, that are consumer/carer inclusive and recovery focused. 
  • the importance of clinicians discussing and seeking advice and opinion from consumers, carers and other professionals when assessing risk for suicide.

Applicable to: 

  • Health Service Providers. 
  • Contracted Health Entities. 
  • Mental health clinicians. 
  • Clinicians in Emergency Departments and other non-mental health settings.

Date of effect: 13 December 2017 to 13 October 2020

Policy Framework

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