AIM for Zero: An Approach for Integrating Suicide Prevention in Health Care
New York State has received national recognition for its work integrating suicide prevention into health and behavioral health systems. As called for in the State Suicide Prevention Plan, we set out to systematically support health systems in reducing suicide deaths among those receiving care—beginning with settings that care for those most at-risk. Our evolving approach, refined over the course of implementing several large, federal suicide prevention grants, is called AIM for Zero. It draws heavily on the national Zero Suicide model and combines it with a helpful clinical framework developed by experts in New York called AIM (Assess, Intervene, Monitor).
The Zero Suicide Model:
Zero Suicide is the country’s leading model for suicide prevention in healthcare. It is both an aspirational concept and a practical set of tools based on empirical evidence:
A majority of suicide deaths occur among individuals with recent contact in the healthcare system, often within the last 30 days.
- To truly have impact requires a systemic approach; depending on the heroic acts of individual clinicians and crisis workers is wholly inadequate.
- Treating underlying behavioral health conditions, such as depression or alcohol use disorder, among those at increased risk for suicide is necessary but not sufficient.
- Effective interventions must also directly target suicide risk.
Implementation of the Zero Suicide model starts with a commitment from health system leadership to reducing suicide deaths among all those receiving care. Click here for more information on Zero Suicide and to access the Zero Suicide toolkit. If you’re interested in the AIM for Zero Suicides Implementation Guide, click here.