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Safety Planning Intervention to Reduce Short Term Risk

2016 Focus Grant
Amount Awarded: $1,495,075
Focus Area: Clinical Treatment Studies

Gregory K. Brown, Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania Psychiatry

Barbara H. Stanley, Ph.D.
Columbia University Medical Center

Edwin D. Boudreaux, Ph.D.
University of Massachusetts Medical Center

Inside the Research

Question: Will helping people develop a safety plan when in the emergency room for a suicide attempt prevent future suicidal behavior?

Strategy: The Safety Planning Intervention (SPI) has been widely accepted as structured, brief suicide prevention strategy that is a good fit for the Emergency Department (ED) setting. SPI involves a clinician working collaboratively with a patient to build a personalized safety plan that is documented and includes warning sign identification, limiting access to means and personalized strategies to de-escalate a suicide crisis. It is brief, easy to learn and administer, acceptable to patients and aims to impact patient outcomes, including suicidal behavior and treatment engagement. This will be the first empirical test of SPI in ED’s. SPI will be compared with treatment as usual across three hospitals with a six-month follow-up assessment.

Impact: Reduced rates of suicidal behaviors among high risk individuals who are evaluated and treated in acute care.