In September of 2015, in Atlanta, US, experts from 13 countries met under the aegis of IIMHL and IASP to craft a declaration of Zero Suicide in Healthcare. Experts included leaders with lived experience of suicide loss and suicidality, international healthcare management, health policy, and suicide prevention experts in public and private health care systems. This call to action for healthcare organizations that deliver mental health and/or addiction services includes key implementation recommendations and targets to be promoted in all countries throughout the world.
Consensus experts attending the Atlanta event believe achieving this result will be significantly enhanced if we first focus on reducing suicides through delivering “perfect care” through our healthcare systems.
Those individuals who enter the healthcare system are known to us, we understand the pathways of care provided to them and they should leave the healthcare system stronger. They should have a follow-up plan that has been designed in partnership with the individual; their clinicians, family or support network; and the community-based services which will help support their ongoing recovery.
All countries working to reduce suicides use, to varying degrees, existing systems to improve access, quality, and follow through. With around 20% of all deaths occurring in people who have exited our healthcare systems, this Declaration focuses on the opportunity that Zero Suicide in Healthcare affords all countries as they design and deliver national suicide prevention strategies, programmes, and services. These efforts will help ensure the WHO can achieve its global target of reducing the suicide rate in countries by 10% by 2020.