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Ligature and/or Suicide Risk Reduction - Dropped Ceilings in Corridors and Common Areas

Are dropped ceilings allowed in corridors and common areas on an inpatient psychiatric unit ?

Any examples are for illustrative purposes only.

Yes, dropped ceilings are allowed in corridors and common areas where staff are regularly present as allowable by the facility’s environmental risk assessment. These areas do not need to be in constant view of staff but should be a part of the standard safety rounds conducted by staff (for example, 15-minute patient safety checks, shift-to-shift environmental rounds, and so on).

Dropped ceilings in areas that are not fully visible to staff (for example, a right-angle curve of a corridor, an alcove, or other non-visible areas) should be noted on the risk assessment and have some additional steps taken to make it more difficult for a patient to attempt to access the space above the dropped ceiling (such as, gluing or clipping tiles), which would allow staff to hear or see the patient’s suicide attempt and prevent the attempt from occurring.

Additional Resource:
Suicide Prevention Portal
Last updated on February 19, 2021
Manual: Behavioral Health
Chapter: National Patient Safety Goals NPSG

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