Suicide interventions in primary care: A selective review of the evidence.

Introduction: About half of people who die by suicide visit their primary care provider (PCP) within 1 month of doing so, compared with fewer than 1 in 5 contacting specialty mental health. Thus, primary care is an important setting for improving identification and treatment of suicide risk. This review identifies and summarizes evidence for the effectiveness of intervention components for suicide risk in primary care. Method: We searched the PsycINFO database to identify relevant articles. We considered publications reporting the effectiveness of a packaged intervention for management of suicide risk in primary care or any other brief (i.e., single-session) intervention for suicide risk in the present review. Results: Four major components to suicide interventions in primary care emerged: (a) educating practitioners, (b) screening for suicide risk and/or mood disturbance, (c) managing depression symptoms, and (d) assessing and managing suicide risk. Although practitioner education and screening for suicide risk are important, they are insufficient for effective suicide prevention programs. Collaborative treatment of depression by multidisciplinary teams can reduce rates of suicidal ideation in primary care patients. Recent evidence also indicates a single-session crisis response planning intervention may be effective at reducing suicidal ideation and attempts. Discussion: Integration of behavioral health specialists trained in suicide risk assessment and management could be important for improving suicide prevention in primary care patients. This condensed review of the evidence serves as a resource for practitioners who are hoping to implement brief, effective interventions for suicide risk to better serve their patients. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)