The Way Forward – Crisis and Emergency Services

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 crisis and emergency services:

Part 4: Crisis and Emergency Services

Recommendation 4.1 – Policy: Crisis and emergency services should be expanded and improved to ensure capacity and competence for helping suicidal individuals.

Recommendation 4.2 – Practice: Crisis center and hotline staff should review the “Lifeline service and outreach strategies suggested by suicide attempt survivors”.

Recommendation 4.3 – Program: Develop and promote crisis respite care centers, especially ones that employ peer providers.

Recommendation 4.4 – Practice: Professionals in the emergency department should provide collaborative and compassionate care in response to a suicidal crisis.

Recommendation 4.5 – Policy: Emergency departments should form partnerships with peer specialists and organizations that can offer support to patients and their family/friends while they wait for clinical care.

Recommendation 4.6 – Program: Train peer specialists to help support and advocate for patients in emergency departments who are experiencing a suicidal crisis.

Recommendation 4.7 – Policy: Promote use of mobile crisis teams including a peer specialist who can use his or her lived experience as an asset during interventions.

Recommendation 4.8 – Policy: Law enforcement agencies should provide training about behavioral health emergencies to all officers; with a minimum requirement to have a specialized response team that is easily identified by community members.