Ligatures and/or Suicide Risk Reduction - Assessing Protective Factors

NPSG.15.01.01 EP 3 requires that the suicide risk assessment include 'protective factors'. What are examples of protective factors ? (Effective: July 1, 2019)

Any examples are for illustrative purposes only.

Protective factors may be described as characteristics associated with a lower likelihood of negative outcomes or that reduce a risk factor’s impact. Protective factors may buffer individuals from suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
Examples of protective factors include, but are not limited to:

  • Safe, secure, monitored environment (e.g. inpatient hospitalization)
  • Receiving clinical care for mental, physical, and substance abuse disorders
  • Easy access to a variety of clinical interventions and support for help seeking
  • Family and community support (connectedness)
  • Support from ongoing medical and mental health care relationships
  • Skills in problem solving, conflict resolution, and nonviolent ways of handling disputes
  • Cultural and religious beliefs that discourage suicide and support instincts for self-preservation

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

Grant CL and Lusk JL. A Multidisciplinary Approach to Therapeutic Risk Management of the Suicidal Patient. Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, 2015;(8):291-298.

Last updated on March 19, 2020
Manual: Behavioral Health
Chapter: National Patient Safety Goals NPSG

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