Suicide Attorney Skip Simpson Weighs in On Debut of Suicide Prevention Mobile Application for Cell Phones, Tablets

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New application can potentially help health care providers assess patients with suicidal ideation or behaviors, according to suicide malpractice attorney Skip Simpson of The Law Offices of Skip Simpson.

For far too long, patients experiencing suicidal ideation and behavior have slipped through the cracks of our health care system

Commenting on an Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) article about the release of a mobile app designed to help health care professionals assess suicide risk among patients, suicide attorney Skip Simpson today stressed the role suicide risk assessment plays in identifying at-risk patients with suicidal behaviors and ideation and how to effectively communicate risks to patients and families.

Simpson, one of the nation’s experts on the legal aspects of suicide and founding attorney at The Law Offices of Skip Simpson, based his comments on an April 2 article, “SAMHSA Creates Suicide Prevention App.” The article details efforts made by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to help health care providers identify and assist patients with suicidal thoughts.

“For far too long, patients experiencing suicidal ideation and behavior have slipped through the cracks of our health care system,” Simpson said today. “Suicide is an issue that needs to be addressed by mental health services and primary care providers alike. By giving health care providers these basic tools to identify and assess at-risk patients, there are simply no excuses for failing to address the needs of at-risk patients and ultimately provide them with the help they need. The app is not a substitute for comprehensive training on suicide assessment, but it is a great start on getting clinicians’ heads where they should be for their patients at risk.”

According to the article, SAMHSA recently created the application, named Suicide Safe, based on the organization’s Suicide Assessment Five-Step Evaluation and Triage (SAFE-T) card. The OHS article indicates that Suicide Safe can potentially help health care providers assist patients experiencing suicidal thoughts and behaviors and offers tips for effectively communicating with patients and families, making referrals for treatment and community resources.

The article revealed that nearly 50 percent of individuals who died by suicide in 2013 visited a primary care provider within a month prior to their death and 20 percent had contact with mental health care professionals. Furthermore, OHS reports that one out of every 10 people received emergency room treatment within two months of a death by suicide.

Simpson said that these statistics represent the need to dramatically improve suicide risk assessment across all health care fields.

“Thousands of people visit doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists and emergency rooms every year within months of their death from suicide. Each of these cases represents an opportunity for health care professionals to conduct a risk assessment and refer these individuals to the help they need and deserve,” said Simpson.

About The Law Offices of Skip Simpson
For over 30 years, Skip Simpson has been practicing law, focusing on psychiatric and psychological malpractice, primarily suicide and false memory lawsuits. Nationally recognized for his expertise in suicide law, he is a pioneer in suicide litigation and has represented families who have lost loved ones to suicide around the country.

Family members whose loved one died by suicide and want to know more about their legal rights should seek the help of an experienced suicide attorney by calling (214) 618-8222 or completing the online contact form.

The Law Offices of Skip Simpson
2591 Dallas Pkwy #300
Frisco, TX 75034
(214) 618-8222

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