Organizations aim to reduce suicide risk

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The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention have pledged to reduce the suicide rate in the United States by 20 percent by 2025.

More than 48,000 Americans died by suicide in 2018, and the suicide rate has spiked annually since 2000.

According to NIMH researchers, certain practices can effectively reduce suicides by identifying people who may be thinking of harming themselves. These include the creation of safety plans, certain psychotherapies, continuing contact, the integration of risk prediction analysis into electronic health records, and the implementation of universal suicide risk screening in emergency care settings.

In the next five years, NIMH’s suicide prevention research priorities include understanding the impact of suicide prevention practices on long-term patient outcomes; testing the integration and implementation of suicide prevention measures into collaborative care models; continuing to identify and test the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of treatment protocols for rapid-acting interventions; implementing and evaluating risk prediction algorithms in clinical and research settings; and, understanding the efficacy and implementation of evidence-based practices into primary and specialty care settings.

More research is needed to take evidence-based practices and implement them on a large scale in health care settings, the NIMH said.

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