About Zero Suicide

The Zero Suicide framework is a continuous quality improvement initiative for transforming suicide prevention in health and behavioral health care systems.

What is Zero Suicide?

The Zero Suicide framework is a system-wide, organizational commitment to safer suicide care in health and behavioral health care systems. The framework is based on the realization that suicidal individuals often fall through the cracks in a sometimes fragmented and distracted health care system. A systematic approach to quality improvement in these settings is both available and necessary.

For a dynamic explanation of the Zero Suicide mission, check out the Zero Suicide Healthcare Call to Action video on the right.

Inspired by health care systems that had seen dramatic reductions in patient suicide, Zero Suicide began as a key concept of the 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, and quickly became a priority of  National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance), and a project of Education Development Center's  Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC), supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

For health care systems, this approach represents a commitment:

  • To patient safety, the most fundamental responsibility of health care
  • To the safety and support of clinical staff, who do the demanding work of treating and supporting suicidal patients

Zero Suicide implementation requires transformative change that cannot be borne solely by the practitioners providing clinical care. Zero Suicide requires a system-wide approach to improve outcomes and close gaps.

Download the printable two-page What is Zero Suicide? fact sheet for more information.

Essential Elements of Suicide Care

After researching successful approaches to suicide reduction, the Action Alliance’s Clinical Care and Intervention Task Force identified seven essential elements of suicide care for health and behavioral health care systems to adopt:

  1. Lead system-wide culture change committed to reducing suicides
  2. Train a competent, confident, and caring workforce
  3. Identify individuals with suicide risk via comprehensive screening and assessment
  4. Engage all individuals at-risk of suicide using a suicide care management plan
  5. Treat suicidal thoughts and behaviors using evidence-based treatments
  6. Transition individuals through care with warm hand-offs and supportive contacts
  7. Improve policies and procedures through continuous quality improvement

Zero Suicide is a call to relentlessly pursue a reduction in suicide and improve the care for those who seek help.

Meet Our Staff

photo of Sadé Ali

Sadé Ali, MA, Senior Project Associate, Zero Suicide Institute, EDC 


Meredith Bempkins, Administrative Coordinator, Zero Suicide Institute, EDC 


photo of Chelsea Booth Chelsea Booth, PhD, Associate Director, Zero Suicide Institute, EDC 

Adam Chu, MPH, Manager, Health and Behavioral Health Initiatives, Suicide Prevention Resource Center, EDC
Sara Do, Business Associate, Zero Suicide Institute, EDCPhoto of Sara Do
Julie Ebin, Ed. M, Manager, Special Initiatives, Suicide Prevention Resource Center, EDC
photo of Barb Gay Barb Gay, MA, Manager, Zero Suicide Institute, EDC
photo of Julie Goldstein
Julie Goldstein Grumet, PhD, Director, Health and Behavioral Health Initiatives, Suicide Prevention Resource Center; Director, Zero Suicide Institute, EDC
Photo of Shelby KuhnShelby Kuhn, MSW, LCSW, SAC, CSIT, Senior Project Associate, Zero Suicide Institute, EDC
Caitlin Peterson, MS, MFT, Senior Project Associate, Health and Behavioral Health Initiatives, Suicide Prevention Resource Center, EDC
Amanda Pliszak, Administrative Coordiantor, Zero Suicide Institute, EDC
Teresa Sherman, MA, MBA, Business Associate, Zero Suicide Institute, EDC
Jan Ulrich Jan Ulrich, Senior Project Associate, Zero Suicide Institute, EDC
Photo of Kim WaltonKim Walton, MSN, RN, Clinical Lead, Zero Suicide Institute, EDC
Diana Weisner, MEd, E-Learning Specialist, Zero Suicide Institute, EDC



Use of Zero Suicide Videos

The videos on this site are subject to copyright owned by the Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC). Any reproduction or republication of all or part of these videos is expressly prohibited unless EDC has explicitly granted its prior written consent. All other rights reserved. The names, trademarks, service marks and logos of EDC or the sponsors appearing in this video may not be used in any advertising or publicity, or otherwise to indicate sponsorship or affiliation with any product or service, without prior express written permission from EDC and the video sponsors. Neither EDC, nor any party involved in creating, producing or delivering information and material via this video, shall be liable for any direct, incidental, consequential, indirect, or punitive damages arising out of access to, use of or inability to use this video, or any errors or omissions in the content thereof. 

Individuals and organizations are free to hyperlink to videos on the Zero Suicide website if credit is acknowledged. For all other cases, EDC will grant written consent for individuals and organizations seeking to use videos produced by EDC for non-profit use on a case-by-case basis. Please contact Teresa Sherman (tsherman@edc.org), senior project associate at the Zero Suicide Institute, for further discussion

What's on this Site

Discover about the Zero Suicide framework, the seven elements of Zero Suicide, our staff, and a map of the site.

Get access to foundational articles on Zero Suicide and read about outcomes from Zero Suicide implementation sites.

Zero Suicide is an evolving initiative. Check out upcoming events as well as the newest stories, resources, and tools.

The Zero Suicide Toolkit collects tools and resources for health and behavioral health care leaders and leadership teams to assist them in implementing Zero Suicide.

We have a growing community of people spreading the Zero Suicide approach across health and behavioral health care. Find out how to join our community.

Find out more about the first ten steps to launching a Zero Suicide initiative, training and consultation, and join the Zero Suicide community.

As an initiative, Zero Suicide can be adapted for a variety of populations and settings. Discover features and resources related to specific populations and settings.

Search our collection of articles and readings, community resources, implementation tools, videos and podcasts, and webinars and presentations.

For questions about the website and use of materials, fill out the Contact Us form. For advice or guidance in Zero Suicide implementation, visit the Zero Suicide Institute.


What is Zero Suicide?
  • PDF
Suicide Care in Systems Framework WEB
The Power of Zero: Steps Toward High Reliability Health Care WEB


Quick Guide to Getting Started with Zero Suicide
  • PDF
Zero Suicide Organizational Self-Study
  • PDF
Zero Suicide Work Plan Template
  • PDF

SPRC and the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention are able to make this web site available thanks to support from Universal Health Services (UHS), the Zero Suicide Institute at EDC, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) (grant 1 U79 SM0559945).

No official endorsement by SAMHSA, DHHS, or UHS for the information on this web site is intended or should be inferred.