Places for People participates in the Zero Suicide program. The Zero Suicide framework is a commitment to safer suicide care in health and behavioral health care systems.


Places for People participates in the Zero Suicide project to develop our organization's suicide prevention efforts.

Zero Suicide is a national project that was inspired by health care systems that had seen dramatic reductions in patient suicide.

Zero Suicide began as a key concept of the 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, and quickly became a priority of National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance), and a project of Education Development Center’s Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC), supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Since April 2016, Places for People has participated in the Zero Suicide initiative through the Missouri Department of Mental Health and the Missouri Coalition for Community Behavioral Healthcare. As a result of participating in the Education Development Center’s Zero Suicide Academy, Places for People developed an implementation team, completed an organization self-assessment, a workforce survey and identified champions to continually work on reducing suicides and improve support for clinical staff in their treatment and support of persons experiencing suicidal thoughts.

As a result of this work, Places for People has:

  • Adopted written processes in accordance with the Zero Suicide Model
  • Developed written protocols for screening suicide
  • Screening for suicide is embedded in Places for People’s electronic health record
  • All Places for People staff are trained in Question Persuade Refer (QPR) as part of core orientation
  • All clinical staff are trained in assessing and managing suicide risk including use of the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS), using Safety Planning Interventions, Counseling on Access to Lethal Means and available treatment interventions.

Essential Elements of Suicide Care

Seven essential elements of suicide care have been identified.

After researching successful approaches to suicide reduction, the Action Alliance’s Clinical Care and Intervention Task Force identified seven essential elements of suicide care for health and behavioral health care systems to adopt:

  • Lead system-wide culture change committed to reducing suicides
  • Train a competent, confident, and caring workforce
  • Identify individuals with suicide risk via comprehensive screening and assessment
  • Engage all individuals at-risk of suicide using a suicide care management plan
  • Treat suicidal thoughts and behaviors using evidence-based treatments
  • Transition individuals through care with warm hand-offs and supportive contacts
  • Improve policies and procedures through continuous quality improvement