What is Zero Suicide?
The foundational belief of Zero Suicide is that suicide deaths for individuals under care within health and behavioural health systems are preventable. Internationally it is increasingly being extended to justice systems as research indicates that those within this system are at a greater chance of death by suicide. It presents both a bold goal and an aspirational challenge.
For health care systems, this approach represents a commitment:
- To patient safety, the most fundamental responsibility of health care
- To the safety and support of clinical and community based staff, who do the demanding work of treating and supporting suicidal patients
The programmatic approach of Zero Suicide is based on the realisation that suicidal individuals often fall through the cracks in a sometimes fragmented and distracted health care and justice systems. A systematic approach to quality improvement in these settings is both available and necessary.
The challenge and implementation of Zero Suicide cannot be borne solely by the practitioners providing clinical care. Zero Suicide requires a system-wide approach to improve outcomes and close gaps.