National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy

Suicide and “Risk Assessment” in the Emergency Room:
Bridging the Gap Between Policymakers, Researchers, and Suicide Attempt Survivors
to Explore What Helps and What Doesn’t

 Laura Delano and Susan Stefan

A great deal of money, time, and attention has been focused on assessing suicidal risk and preventing suicide.  Although people who’ve attempted or contemplated suicide are slowly becoming more involved in this discussion, there is still a gap between the current policy and research on suicide prevention, and the perspectives of those who’ve survived suicide attempts or suicidal experiences.

Given the common intersection of suicide and the emergency room, how can we devise an effective “risk assessment” tool for use in emergency departments that not only reduces waits, boarding, and unwarranted hospitalizations, but that also respects the autonomy, dignity, and humanity of those experiencing suicidal feelings?  This workshop will discuss current efforts to change the psychiatric “crisis” system from the perspectives of both a policymaking lawyer and a suicide attempt survivor.

Link to brief presenter bios:

Laura Delano

Susan Stefan