Mitigating Risk Factors in Treatment Facilities
Date: June 11, 2018
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How important is mitigating risk factors in your treatment facility? I have been working in addiction treatment facilities for 20 years and only once was there a suicide at the center where I was on staff. It was, as you can either imagine, or know from your own experience, it was devastating. This individual was only 24 years old, had a history of suicidal ideation, but no attempts. He was put on a behavioral contract, and was progressing well in treatment. He was found in the bathroom with a drape cord tied around the large showerhead in the middle of the day.

Would mitigating and/or removing risks like the drape cords, or oversized showerhead have changed the outcome? I don’t know. But I do know that making those changes after that horrible day left us feeling empty, like it was an exercise in futility. Don’t let this happen to you or your facility. Take the necessary precautions and train your staff on observation and identifying risk factors.

I am including the Into Action Consulting, Inc.Mitigating Environmental Risk Action Plan” and the supporting Policy so that you can use it. If you have ideas, please share them with us!

We can help you with your licensing, accreditation, and compliance needs. We will train your organization on this and many other requirements.

The Joint Commission requires that you perform, and document action taken to help reduce or remove environmental factors that may trigger suicidal or self-harm behaviour. A good place to find information on programs, training and resources is the Suicide Prevention Resource Center

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