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The Way Forward – Clinical Services and Supports

The Way Forward: Pathways to hope, recovery, and wellness with insights from lived experience is a resource developed by the Suicide Attempt Survivors Task Force of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention that provides recommendations for suicide prevention activities that blend evidence-based practices and perspectives informed by lived experience. Here are the recommendations related to clinical services and supports:

Part 3: Clinical Services and Supports

Recommendation 3.1 – Practice: Agencies and organizations providing clinical services should consider the Core Values as ways to improve care for all patients, including attempt survivors.

Recommendation 3.2 – Policy: Organizations involved in suicide prevention should have formal statements of support for helping attempt survivors.

Recommendation 3.3 – Practice: Professional clinical education should include training on providing treatment to someone in a suicidal crisis, or recovering from crisis.

Recommendation 3.4 – Practice: Clinical professionals should collaborate with a person to understand his or her suicidal experience and specifically address suicide risk.

Recommendation 3.5 – Policy: Behavioral health systems should make suicide prevention a core component of care.

Recommendation 3.6 – Practice: At the beginning of care, professionals should inform patients about their approach to working through crisis situations.

Recommendation 3.7 – Practice: Behavioral health providers should integrate principles of collaborative assessment and treatment planning into their practices.

Recommendation 3.8 – Practice: Behavioral health professionals should complete a comprehensive assessment that goes beyond suicide risk as soon as it is feasible to do so, acknowledging that a person has a life beyond the crisis.

Recommendation 3.9 – Policy: Protocols for addressing safety and crisis planning should consider be based on principles of informed and collaborative care.

Recommendation 3.10 – Practice: Consider the Core Values as essential aspects of care and/or outcomes to achieve in all treatment (including outpatient and inpatient) to help in a suicidal crisis.

Recommendation 3.11 – Practice: Use a collaborative approach to prescribing medication that discusses multiple options, respects informed choices, and is monitored and modified as needed.