SPARC – Comparing Safety Planning Plus Structured Follow-Up from a Suicide Prevention Hotline (SP+SFU) to Usual Care for Suicide Prevention in Emergency Departments & Primary Care Settings

At a glance

Funded by: PCORI 2020-2024
Principal Investigator(s): Anna Radin
Research Team:
Research Setting: primary care, pediatrics, emergency department of a large health system in rural Idaho partnered with Idaho crisis line


Half of people who die from suicide have contact with a hospital or health system within a month of their death. Having a safety plan and follow-up support may help prevent suicide after people leave the hospital or clinic. In safety planning, healthcare providers or trained specialists help people create action plans to use if they have suicidal thoughts. Patients and their healthcare providers work together to list warning signs of suicide. They work to identify:

  • People and social settings they can use for support and distraction
  • Coping strategies
  • Professional help
  • How to keep themselves safe at home, (including safe storage of firearms or medicines)

The research team is comparing two models of follow-up support to help prevent suicide after people leave the hospital or clinic with a safety plan. The first is support via phone calls, called SPI+. The second is Caring Contacts, which involves one phone call followed by Caring Contacts text messages or emails.


  • Recruitment complete, data analysis ongoing
  • For more information, visit PCORI (Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute)


  • Radin, A. K., Shaw, J., Brown, S. P., Flint, H., Fouts, T., McCue, E., Skeie, A., Peña, C., Youell, J., Ratzliff, A., Powers, D. M., Biss, M., Lemon, H., Sandoval, D., Hartmann, J., Hammar, E., Doty-Jones, A., Wilson, J., Austin, G., … Comtois, K. A. (2023). Comparative effectiveness of safety planning intervention with instrumental support calls (ISC) versus safety planning intervention with two-way text message caring contacts (CC) in adolescents and adults screening positive for suicide risk in emergency departments and primary care clinics: Protocol for a pragmatic randomized controlled trial. Contemporary Clinical Trials, 131, 107268.