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Building an evidence base for effective psychiatric inpatient care and alternative services for suicide prevention

July 16, 2015

NIMH, NIDA, SAMHSA, and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention are seeking information on approaches to better understand: 1) what components of inpatient care are safe and effective in reducing suicide risk for various populations; 2) what are effective alternatives to inpatient care (e.g., telephone counseling, home visits, intensive day/residential treatment, types of respite care) and how they can be broadly implemented; and 3) what type of research designs could compare inpatient interventions with alternative approaches in a safe, acceptable, and fair manner. While a number of interventions for suicide attempters have been effective and even replicated, the effectiveness of inpatient care interventions or alternative approaches in reducing later morbidity (e.g., suicide attempts) and mortality (e.g., suicide deaths) remains a question for many U.S. healthcare systems. Testing the effectiveness of inpatient or alternative approaches is critical for suicidal patients as few empirically-based practices exist for acute care interventions and their follow-up care.

This RFI is intended to seek information about current practices and solicit perspectives on the need for empirical research from stakeholders who are associated with relevant systems of care (e.g., state commissioners, healthcare administrators, insurers, providers, patients, suicide attempt survivors, and family members), and who play a role in the provision of interventions for individuals at acute risk for suicide, as well as researchers focused on such interventions and services research.

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