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Authors

  1. Davidson, Judy E. DNP, RN, FCCM, FAAN
  2. Zisook, Sidney MD
  3. Kirby, Brittany MSW
  4. DeMichele, Gianni MFT
  5. Norcross, William MD

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to describe the pilot expansion of a proactive suicide risk-screening program, initially designed for physicians, to nurses.

 

BACKGROUND: The Healer Education, Assessment and Referral (HEAR) program detects at-risk physicians and facilitates referral to mental healthcare. Nothing similar has been available for at-risk nurses. Local nurse suicides served as the catalyst to extend the HEAR program to nurses.

 

METHODS: Education, outreach, and an encrypted, online, anonymous, proactive risk screening were conducted to identify and refer nurses with depression and suicide risk.

 

RESULTS: During the 1st 6 months of the program, 172 of 2475 (7%) nurses completed questionnaires; 74 (43%) were rated as high risk, and another 98 (55%) as moderate risk; 12 (7%) reported current active thoughts or actions of self-harm, and 19 (11%) reported previous suicide attempts. Forty-four (26%) received in-person or verbal counseling, and 17 accepted referral for continued treatment.

 

CONCLUSIONS: An encrypted, anonymous, proactive risk screening is effective at identifying nurses at risk and referring them to mental healthcare.