Release of Updated Standards Promoting Best Practices in Suicide Prevention

Best practices in suicide prevention are now incorporated into the Administrative and Service Environment (ASE), Counseling, Support, and Education Services (CSE), Crisis Response and Information Services (CRI), Mental Health and/or Substance Use Disorders (MHSU), and Training and Supervision (TS) standards.

Suicide remains one of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States, and each year, more than 30,000 individuals die by suicide. Tragically, many of these deaths could have been prevented with the right interventions and treatment, necessitating a comprehensive and collaborative prevention and intervention strategy going forward. 

To help raise awareness of this serious public health concern and increase the capacity of COA accredited organizations to identify and serve individuals at risk for suicide, COA partnered with a group of national experts, including the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Suicide Prevention Resource Center, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, National Council for Behavioral Health, as well as COA accredited organizations. 

The updated standards emphasize:

  • staff training
  • screenings and assessments
  • safety planning
  • continuity of care and follow-up
  • linkages to peer support services
  • staff supports in the event of a suicide 

Join us on December 1, 2015 for a free live webinar hosted in partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to discuss key facts, best practices, and how you can make a difference. Register for this webinar. 

What the Experts Say about COA’s Suicide Prevention Updates

Christine Moutier, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

“We were honored to partner with the Council on Accreditation to add suicide prevention-related best practices to their accreditation standards.  As a result, COA is setting a higher standard in suicide prevention training, screenings and safety planning, by introducing the notion that any frontline staff person, regardless of their field or industry in society, can play an important role in preventing suicide.  By working together, we can find better ways to prevent suicide and save lives.  These standards enable us to continue creating a culture that’s smarter about mental health conditions, and reaching those most at risk.”

Julie Goldstein Grumet, Ph.D., Director of Prevention and Practice, Suicide Prevention Resource Center

“We are thrilled that the Council on Accreditation’s new guidelines emphasize the need for a trained behavioral health work force that is well prepared to provide evidence-based suicide care.  Suicide deaths for people under care are preventable and we have already seen evidence that system-wide comprehensive suicide prevention approaches in health care do work to reduce suicide.  Better performance and accountability for suicide prevention and care should be core expectations of health care programs and systems.”

Gillian Murphy, Ph.D., Director of Standards, Training and Practices, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

“We were thrilled to be asked by the Council on Accreditation to work with them on adding suicide prevention best practice information to their accreditation standards. In doing so, COA demonstrated a commitment to suicide prevention and took a step towards increasing awareness in those they accredit. Suicide care and prevention is a community responsibility and in working together we can do more to impact suicide prevention and save lives.” 


Private Organization Accreditation

Heartland for Children is the not-for-profit agency responsible for the foster care system in Polk, Highlands, and Hardee Counties.


Ulysses Arteaga, L.C.S.W.

Volunteer Roles: Commissioner; EPPA; Marine Reviewer; Military Reviewer; Peer Reviewer; Team Leader

The Consuelo Foundation 2012 Peer Reviewer of the Year, Mr. Arteaga conducts two to three site visits a year, often volunteering for visits that require a Spanish speaking peer.
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