Crisis Response Planning for Suicidal Patients: an Introduction
A widely-used strategy for managing acute suicide risk is the contract for safety, also known as the no-suicide contract. Despite its widespread use across mental health and medical settings, accumulating consensus is that this approach may be ineffective. Alternative strategies such as crisis response planning or the related safety planning intervention have therefore been proposed. Written on an index card, the crisis response plan outlines simple steps for a suicidal individual to follow when in a crisis. Results of a recently completed randomized clinical trial show that crisis response planning reduces suicide attempts by 75% as compared to the contract for safety, thereby supporting the method’s efficacy. The purpose of this presentation is to provide an overview of crisis response planning, and to differentiate the method from other, less effective means for managing suicide risk.