Year: 2023 Source: Nursing Report. (2023)., 13, 29–42. nursrep13010003 SIEC No: 20230255

Aim: The aim of this study is to investigate the compliance of mental health clinicians in applying the Zero Suicide (ZS) approach to their clinical practice in a rural and regional health community setting. Methods: A retrospective clinical audit of six mental health teams was undertaken at a single site. A clinical audit tool was developed and validated using a six-step approach. The data was extracted and analysed via descriptive and inferential statistics and compared to a specialised mental health team, experienced with the ZS approach. Results: A total of 334 clinical records were extracted for January, April, August, November 2019 and June 2020. The clinical audit and analysis confirmed that the mental health teams are not consistently using the assessments from their training and are therefore not implementing all of these elements into their practice. This could have implications for the risk formulation and treatment for people at risk of suicide. Conclusions: The use of a validated clinical audit tool can be beneficial to establish compliance with the mental health clinicians and to determine any areas requiring further improvement. Further education and reinforcement may be required to ensure consistency with incorporating the elements of ZS into everyday clinical practice.