Suicide Prevention Best Practice Guideline: Enhancing Nursing Practice, Education and Organizational Policy to Address a Global Health Concern

Tuesday, 14 July 2009: 8:50 AM

Elaine E. Santa Mina, PhD, RN, BA, BAAN, MSc
Faculty of Community Services School of Nursing, Ryerson University, Toronto, ON, Canada
Josephine Muxlow
Atlantic Region, Health Canada, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Halifax, NS, Canada
Victoria Smye, PhD, RN
School of Nursing, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Beth Hamer, MS, RN
Penetanguishene, Mental Health Centre, Penetanguishene, ON, Canada
Negin Shalchi, BScN, RN
Nursing, North York General Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada

Learning Objective 1: identify the nursing best practice recommendations for assessment and care of adults at risk for suicidal ideation and behavior

Learning Objective 2: apply one or more of best practice recommendations in a clinical scenario with the use of any of the educational strategies provided in the guideline

Suicide is a complex phenomenon that is influenced by physical, psychological, spiritual, social, economical, historical, political, cultural and environmental factors. According to WHO (2008) approximately “one million people die by suicide each year and for every death by suicide, 20 or more people may attempt to take their lives”. This paper focuses on the application of a Nursing Best Practice Guideline (BPG) on Assessment and Care of Adults at Risk for Suicidal Ideation and Behavior, which was developed to increase nurses’ competence and confidence in practice; augment nurses’ knowledge/education; and address organizational policy for clients’ safety and reduce the global risk of suicide.  Nurses who work in community health, long-term care facilities and hospital settings interact with clients at risk for suicidal ideation and behaviour. Nurses are affected also by the profound impact of suicide, as are many people at some point in their lives. This BPG, which contains 26 evidence-based recommendations, was developed by an inter-professional expert panel who conducted a systematic and critical review of the literature.  The development process included feedback on the recommendations from an inter-professional advisory committee and stakeholders. In this presentation, the learner will gain knowledge of evidence- based practice for assessment, intervention, education and policy to promote a safe environment for clients, staff, and others. The learner will gain knowledge of the relevance of a therapeutic relationship and collaborative partnership with the client, family, community and interdisciplinary team, that includes taking a client seriously and mobilizing resources, to reduce the risk of suicidal ideation and behavior.