Let's Talk:

Suicide Prevention for All

Why should we all learn more about how to talk about suicide?

  • Many people have a loved one or a patient who has thought about or attempted suicide.
  • The COVID crisis has increased risk factors for suicide– such as depression, anxiety, and hazardous substance use. 

  • Teens are at particular risk. In Rhode Island, there is a very high number of teens currently seeking treatment in EDs for thoughts about suicide or suicide attempts. The most common type of suicide attempt amongst teens in RI is ingestion – e.g., overdosing on Tylenol or other medicines or substances that are found in many households. 

  • Being able to talk about suicide in a straightforward, confident way communicates to our patients and loved ones that it is okay to talk about suicide. This may increase the chance that they come to us when they need help. The more comfortable we can be talking about suicide, the more comfortable others may be in talking to us.  Then, we can connect people with the help that they need.

Diana's Story

Listen to Diana's personal account of positive and negative experiences in a healthcare setting.

Words Matter

We know that mental health problems exist in our homes and communities. They are common and they can be addressed through prevention, timely treatment, and concentrated community effort. Addressing the crisis starts with talking about it…in a way that is open, direct, and without judgment.

The Providence Center
24-hour Behavioral Health
Emergency Line

Call (401) 274-7111



24/7 Telephone Assistance

Providence Center crisis clinicians provide 24/7 telephone assistance for adults and children in crisis. Providence Center clinicians will triage the situation and recommend options for treatment.



Consultation Services

This line also serves to provide consultation services to other providers seeking guidance or resources in relation to a patient in their care or their general practice. Providence Center clinicians can advise on topics such as discerning level of risk, de-escalation techniques, safety planning, and navigating community resources.

Crisis Evaluations

  • Crisis Evaluations are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. A Providence Center clinician will respond to the crisis to evaluate children or adults for safety and will facilitate treatment at the appropriate level of care.
  • Outside of normal business hours, assessments are possible on a limited basis for people in the Providence area. 
  • A referral can be made by calling the 24-hour emergency line listed above. The clinician answering will dispatch a clinician for an in-person assessment if that resource is available and indicated.
  •  If there is no in-person clinician response available but the level of risk rises to the level of a police wellness check then the clinician will call the police department where the client is physically located, explain the nature of the behavioral health emergency and request the person be transported to the hospital if indicated.

Helpful Resources


  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline 
    • Provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals. 
  • Means Matter
    • Information for clinicians and community members about reducing access to lethal. means, including firearms and medications. 
  • Prevent Overdose RI
    • Information about how to safely dispose of unused medications. 

Topics we will address in the coming months

  • Means safety
    • For people at risk for suicide, reducing access to firearms and medications that are lethal in overdose
  • Concrete ways
    • How to talk to patients or others about suicide risk
  • Importance of language
    • Including examples of language to use and not use
  • Introduction to the continuum of care
  • Treatment Options 
This information was developed by the Care New England Suicide Prevention Workgroup, which includes membership across Care New England operating units.