VA/DoD Assessment and Management of Suicide Risk Clinical Support Tools

DCoE, in partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), announces the release of four clinical support tools to promote provider compliance with the 2013 VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for the Assessment and Management of Patients at Risk for Suicide. The suite of tools brings together evidence-based practices to help health care professionals identify and treat service members, and their families, at risk for suicide. The tools provide recommendations on suicide warning signs, protective factors, safety planning and effective treatments.

The suite includes the following provider, patient and family tools:

  • Suicide Risk Provider Pocket Guide: Presents a concise overview of guidelines and decision aids for primary and specialty care providers related to prevention, symptom recognition, treatment and patient management
  • Suicide Prevention: Overcoming Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings: A tool providers can use with patients to educate them on risk management, strategies to build inner sources of strength, how to recognize warning signs, effective coping strategies, and the importance of treatment engagement
  • Safety Plan Worksheet: A provider-driven tool that enables the health care professional and patient to collaboratively identify stressful triggers, warning signs, sources of support, coping strategies and ways to access health care assistance within a quick reference guide. The worksheet is typically completed during a face-to-face appointment. Providers should provide a copy to the patient and include it in the electronic medical record.
  • Suicide Prevention: A Guide for Military and Veteran Families: A family member is often the first to know when a loved one is in crisis. Health care professionals should use this guide with family members to educate them about suicide warning signs, how to access care, appropriate treatments and ways they can best help a loved one who is suicidal or in crisis.

The tools are available for download at the U.S. Army Medical Department website (under the Health Care Team menu on the left), for order on the U.S. Army Medical Department shopping cart website, and on the Department of Veterans Affairs website.

This page was last updated on: August 11, 2016.