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Reducing Injury and Harm: Safety for Behavioral & Mental Health

February 2019
Issue Brief

Executive Summary 

As outlined in the accompanying Backgrounder, behavioral and mental health (BMH) patient populations may present a higher risk for self-harm or harm to others. This brief includes an update to the content developed in 2013 through a consensus-based expert workgroup. Design considerations are outlined in the associated Design Strategies and the online Safety Risk Assessment (SRA).

Methods of self-harm frequently used in healthcare environments include hanging, jumping, cutting, intentional drug overdose, and strangulation. Risk factors for BMH-associated injury include those related to the individual (intrinsic), as well as external conditions (extrinsic), including the built environment. Due to the wide range of BMH diagnoses, careful consideration is required to find the appropriate balance between a safe and healing environment.


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