The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) released a new online suicide prevention module for family physicians certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada. Led by mdBriefCase with sponsorship from the MHCC and the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, the module seeks to provide family physicians with the tools they need to address suicide in practice.
Family physicians play a pivotal role in preventing suicides in Canada. As gatekeepers, they are often best positioned to identify those who may be at risk for suicide and able to provide or link those at risk with the care they so desperately need. We also know that those who die by suicide frequently had contact with a health care provider in the weeks and months prior to their death. In adults ages 55 or older, up to 70% visited a primary care provider within a month of their death.
Given this evidence, it is important for family physicians to have a firm understanding of suicide prevention, assessment, intervention, safety planning, local resources, and how to make effective referrals. Building upon this, family physicians need to be alert and attentive to possible risk factors, warnings signs, and reports of physiological symptoms from their patients even in the absence of any reported suicidal behaviours.
View the online module.