Suicidal behaviour and adapted nursing protocols

Suicide is a complex and multidimensional health issue that affects Quebec society more than most. Known risk factors are present in several segments of the population:

  • individuals with mental disorders or addictions;
  • individuals with chronic physical illnesses or life-threatening diseases;
  • adolescents;
  • older people;
  • Aboriginals, immigrants and marginalized or stigmatized individuals;
  • victims of violence and severely traumatized individuals.

Nurses play a leading role with these groups and individuals, whether in regards to suicide risk assessment or in the development and implementation of properly adapted preventive and therapeutic strategies, from perninatality to end of life.

Intervention among at-risk and suicidal individuals is a challenge for nurses in the health and social services sectors who work in:

  • acute care facilities (emergency, intensive care, units, outpatient clinics, etc.);
  • rehabilitation centres;
  • residential and long-term care centres;
  • CLSCs, including home care, school and work environments;
  • private sector services (residences, FMGs, clinics, etc.);
  • community organizations.

Considering nurses’ key role with suicidal individuals and in the organization of services provided to them, the Réseau québécois de recherche sur le suicide (RQRS) thought it essential to make suicide-related nursing research one of its strategic exploration and development axes. In this particular field, the adequacy of services is thoroughly evaluated by their increase and adaptation to client groups, environments and associated risk factors. Through its Nursing science axis, the RQRS has already funded some pilot projects [1], and intends to finance others within future competitions [2].

The RQRS is open to the identification of needs and research avenues in areas of suicide intervention and prevention that are conducive to quick and effective knowledge transfer.

[1] See

[2] For further details go to:


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