Results from Zero Suicide are promising.
The Zero Suicide framework was constructed around evidence-based practices, which inform the seven core elements of safer suicide care. Since Zero Suicide was created in 2012, over a thousand systems nationally and around the world have begun implementation. Preliminary research is ongoing and systems continue to improve their fidelity to the framework.
The most thorough body of evidence for Zero Suicide—including research articles, outcome stories, and evidence for each of the seven elements—is available on the Zero Suicide Toolkit website. The recommendations below will help get you started.
Results from Implementers
Thousands of healthcare systems have adopted Zero Suicide—and they’re seeing results.
- Reductions in suicide deaths
- Decreases in hospitalizations
- Increases in quality and continuity of care
- Improvement in post-discharge follow-up visit attendance
- Improvements in screening rates according to protocol
- System-wide care pathway implementation
- Fewer inpatient psychiatric hospital readmissions
- Cost savings
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Zero Suicide represents the best safe suicide care practices translated into the language of Six Sigma continuous quality improvement. Early adopters, like Henry Ford Health System in Michigan and Centerstone in Tennessee, observed significant decreases in suicide death rates.
Over a decade of implementation has shown results from increased patient satisfaction to bottom-line cost savings. We've compiled highlights from outcome stories and research articles to demonstrate the transformative potential of Zero Suicide. Full texts are available on the Zero Suicide.com website.
- Aspire Indiana
From 2014-2018, measured 70% reduction in suicide deaths and reached zero suicides for 12 months.
- Chickasaw Nation DHFS
Safe care practices led to 200 diversions from inpatient care for an estimated $200,000 in savings.
- UMASS Memorial Health Care
Suicide screening rose to 90% across all emergency departments, with 4% screening positive for risk.
- Riveredge Hospital
In 2017 there was a 21% decrease in the 30-day readmission rate compared to the previous year.
The Betty Hardwick Center
8% decrease in hospital admissions from FY 2017 to FY 2018 for a savings of $23,400.
- Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester
First year of implementation, assessed suicide risk in 100% of clients, trained 80% of staff in suicide prevention, and decreased suicide deaths by 44%.
Published research on the Zero Suicide approach continues to grow. Recent studies offer compelling insights into its effectiveness.
- Greater fidelity to Zero Suicide practices is associated with lower risk for suicidal behaviors (March 2021)
- Implementation of Zero Suicide-aligned suicide prevention pathway decreases risk of repeat suicide attempts (November 2020)
- The benefits of Zero Suicide are compromised when there are barriers to a just workplace culture (November 2020)
For more research on Zero Suicide, check out these foundational articles:
"Suicide Prevention: An Emerging Priority for Health Care"