Emergency departments have an important role in caring for people who present as being at risk of suicide.
This guidance is aimed at improving the quality of care for people presenting to emergency departments at risk of suicide. The guidance includes clinical risk assessment and referral pathways, but also focuses on the nature of interactions between the person and clinicians involved in their care. This focus incorporates advice on culturally and age-appropriate interventions.
The guidance was developed by Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui, with the assistance of an expert working group. It builds on (but does not replace) the 2003 Assessment and Management of People at Risk of Suicide guidelines developed by the New Zealand Guidelines Group and the Ministry of Health.
The development of the guidance arose from action 6.2 of the Ministry of Health’s Suicide Prevention Action Plan 2013-2016; to “improve the care of people presenting to emergency departments with self-harm injuries, and ensure there is appropriate follow-up after discharge”.