Year: 2016 Source: Crisis.(2015).36(5):316-324. DOI:10.1027/0227-5910/a000328 SIEC No: 20150570

The ability to predict imminent risk of suicide is limited, particularly among mental health clients. Root cause analysis (RCA) can be used by health services to identify service-wide approaches to suicide prevention. Aims: To (a) develop a standardized taxonomy for RCAs; (b) to quantitate service-related factors associated with suicides; and (c) to identify service-related suicide prevention strategies. Method: The RCAs of all people who died by suicide within 1 week of contact with the mental health service over 5 years were thematically analyzed using a data collection tool. Results: Data were derived from RCAs of all 64 people who died by suicide between 2008 and 2012. Major themes were categorized as individual, situational, and care-related factors. The most common factor was that clients had recently denied suicidality. Reliance on carers, recent changes in medication, communication problems, and problems in follow-through were also commonly identified. Conclusion: Given the difficulty in predicting suicide in people whose expressions of suicidal ideation change so rapidly, services may consider the use of strategies aimed at improving the individual, stressor, support, and care factors identified in this study.