Suicide is a major cause of death in NSW. Attempted suicide is a significant cause of morbidity. Health care professionals are in a vital position for identifying people at risk of suicide and preventing suicide. Management of a person at risk of suicide requires assessment of risk, an estimation of the level of risk and appropriate interventions to minimise the risk.
All people with possible suicidal behaviour in contact with general health services must receive a preliminary screening for suicide risk and be referred to specialist mental health services or, at a minimum, consultation with a mental health service should occur on the assessment and management of suicide risk. Competent management when a person is suicidal will have a significant influence on both morbidity and mortality outcomes.
These suicide risk assessment and management protocols are to be read in conjunction with the Framework for Suicide Risk Assessment and Management for NSW Health Staff.