Year: 2023 Source: Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy. (2022). SIEC No: 20230232

Background. Suicide safety planning (SSP) is a suicide prevention approach that involves developing a collaborative plan between a service provider such as an occupational therapist and a person who is at risk of suicide.

Purpose. To synthesize effectiveness studies on SSP.

Method. Using the Joanna Briggs Institute methodology, we conducted a systematic review of effectiveness studies including a: (1) title and abstract screening; (2) full-text review; (3) critical appraisal; and (4) narrative synthesis.

Findings. We included 22 studies. Critical appraisal scores ranged from 38.5 to 92.3 (m = 63.7). The types of interventions included were: standard and enhanced SSP (n = 11); electronically delivered SSP (n = 5); and SSP integrated with other approaches (n = 6). Only three studies identified meaningful activity as a component of SSP. Evidence across a range of studies indicates that SSP is effective for reducing suicide behavior (SB) and ideation (SI). While some studies have demonstrated effectiveness for reducing symptoms of mental illness, promoting resilience and service use, the number of studies exploring these outcomes is currently limited.

Implications. Occupational therapists support individuals expressing SI, and SSP is a necessary skill for practice.