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Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2007 Feb;37(1):50-7.

No-harm contracts: a review of what we know.

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Indiana University School of Social Work, Shelbyville, Indiana 46176, USA.


Few events in the practice of a mental health clinician can be as devastating as the suicide of a client. Although suicide is a rare occurrence, clinicians face assessment of clients' risk for harming themselves on a regular basis. One well-accepted and widely practiced intervention for suicidal ideation is the use of no-harm contracts (NHC), although opinions about NHCs range from enthusiasm to apathy. The existing research does not support the use of such contracts as a method for preventing suicide, nor for protecting clinicians from malpractice litigation in the event of a client suicide.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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