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Reducing Suicide: A National Imperative
dictates further medical and behavioral interventions. This will only be effective if the issue of parity is addressed and insurance benefits are expanded adequately to cover mental health care.
Professional medical organizations should provide training to health care providers for assessment of suicide risk and provide them with existing tools. Mental health professional associations should encourage (or require, when appropriate) their memberships to increase their skills in suicide risk detection and intervention. National, state, county, and city public health organizations should build on their existing infrastructure to facilitate suicide screening especially in high-risk populations.
Medical and nursing schools should incorporate the study of suicidal behavior into their curricula or expand existing education.
NIMH and Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ) should work with physician associations including American College of Physicians, American College of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Society of Internal Medicine to implement these recommendations. In addition, through their health services research funds they should support efforts to improve approaches to identifying and treating those at risk.
Programs for suicide prevention should be developed, tested, expanded, and implemented through funding from appropriate agencies including NIMH, DVA, CDC, and SAMHSA.
Partnerships should be formed among federal, state, and local agencies to implement effective suicide prevention programs. Collaboration should be sought with professional organizations (including the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association) and non-profit organizations dedicated to the prevention of suicide (such as the American Foundation for the Prevention of Suicide or the American Association of Suicidology). NIMH and SAMHSA should work with the Department of