Groups to develop online suicide risk prevention tool for EDs

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Two national organizations are beginning work to create an online suicide risk assessment and treatment tool for emergency department use.

The push will come as a result of a new program developed by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the American College of Emergency Physicians. The organizations are developing an on-line suicide risk assessment and treatment tool to guide delivery of emergency suicide prevention services.

When completed, the tool, called iCAR2E, will be available for free to emergency departments across the nation.

Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, and emergency care personnel often encounter patients who are suicidal or at risk. By focusing on EDs, the organizations believe more than 1,100 lives can be saved by 2025.

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The tool also is appropriate for use by police, healthcare organizations and correctional facilities, and their use of it could save another 20,000 lives through 2025, according to proponents.

“By partnering with ACEP, we will be able to scale up best practices and identify new approaches to suicide prevention in emergency departments,” says Christine Moutier, chief medical officer at AFSP. “Through our chapter network, we have the ability to reach hospitals and urgent care centers, and employ approaches for identifying and treating suicide that will save lives.”

The tool will help emergency physicians identify and reduce suicide risks, communicate effectively with patients and collaborate with patients’ other providers.

The initiative also includes an awards program. Local emergency departments can submit an application highlighting their approaches to suicide prevention. The winner will work with American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the American College of Emergency Physicians to share the program with emergency departments around the country.

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