NIMH seeks applications to evaluate the preliminary effectiveness of therapeutic and service delivery interventions that utilize lethal means safety strategies to reduce suicide risk in healthcare and community settings. Behavioral health clinics that incorporate lethal means counseling into their programming have been associated with significant reductions in suicide attempts and death. Yet, the field is lacking strong evidence on the effectiveness of these strategies tested in healthcare and community settings. Pilot effectiveness research will advance knowledge regarding optimization strategies, therapeutic change mechanisms, and inform decisions about whether further effectiveness testing is warranted. The research will provide preliminary evidence on the extent to which lethal means safety interventions more optimally lead to improved safety (e.g., number/percent of firearms safely stored, overdose injury codes for an individual) and lower suicide risk.

In this pilot phase of effectiveness research, the trial should be designed to evaluate the feasibility, tolerability, acceptability, safety, and potential effectiveness of the approach; to address whether the intervention engages the target(s)/mechanisms(s) that is/are presumed to underlie the intervention effects; and to obtain preliminary data needed as a pre-requisite to a larger-scale effectiveness trial (e.g., comparative effectiveness study, practical trial) designed to definitively test the effectiveness of the intervention.