All* patient-facing staff working at the pharmacy must have completed the Zero Suicide Alliance (ZSA) training. <click here. *Staff members, who have been affected by suicide and do not wish to undertake the ZSA training, are exempt from completing it.
When you See the signs then start a conversation with the person. Say:
Be direct- this reduces any risk of misunderstanding.
Do not feel uncomfortable saying the word suicide. Ask if they are want to end their life or are feeling suicidal. Using the word suicide will not put the idea into someone’s head or more likely to end their life.
If they have suicidal thoughts ask if they have considered a method, made any plans, or written a note. Have they stored any harmful drugs. These are clear indication of significant intent & high risk.
Ask If they have already taken any substances e.g. tablets.
Ask if they are already receiving any help e.g. from their GP.
Discuss them contacting their formal or informal carer, or offer to do it for them. If known to a local GP practice, ask to speak to their GP or duty doctor.
If the person has no-one and continues to be suicidal then call emergency services or A&E. If there is imminent risk call 999. If necessary ask for police & welfare check- the police can detain the person under the Mental Health Act. If patient agrees to go to A&E call ahead and inform them that you have serious concerns about the persons safety-or ask someone from Pharmacy to accompany the person.
Think of it as ‘suicide first aid’