Suicide is a major cause of death in NSW. Self-harm and attempted suicide are 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 persons with possible suicidal behaviour in contact with general health services must receive a preliminary screening for suicide risk and be referred to specialised mental health services or, at a minimum, consultation on the assessment and management of suicide risk should occur. 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.