Self-Harm Prevention: Health Care Provider Toolkit

Preventing Intentional Self-Poisoning in Youth: A Toolkit for Vermont Health Care Providers was developed by the NNEPC in collaboration with Safe Kids Vermont.

This toolkit provides background information on the rise of self-harm poisonings in teenagers and tools that primary care providers can use in their practices to help prevent these poisonings. While the toolkit contains data and resources specific to Vermont, the trends are similar across northern New England, and the framework of the toolkit can be useful to providers anywhere. Supplemental materials are available for Maine and New Hampshire.

Continuing education credit is available through the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine for doctors and nurses who review the toolkit through UVM’s e-learning site. Credit is available to providers anywhere in the country; you do not need to practice in Vermont. Please review the accreditation statement below.


Core materials

  • The toolkit guide book, available as a PDF from the Downloads section of our website, offers tools providers can use in a primary care setting to identify, manage and appropriately refer young patients who may be at risk of self-harm. To request a printed copy of the booklet, please contact Vermont educator Gayle Finkelstein.
    • Supplements to the guidebook are available for Maine and New Hampshire. Each supplement offers a page of state-specific statistics and resources, along with revised versions of the parent handouts from the guidebook.
  • Self-Harm Poisonings in Youth is a 20-minute recorded presentation for health care providers covering trends in youth self-harm, substances commonly involved, ways the poison center contributes to treatment for these patients, and action steps providers can take to help.

Additional materials

  • Poison Ed: Self-Poisoning Suicide Attempts in Vermont is a podcast episode in which NNEPC educator Gayle Finkelstein, UVM Larner College of Medicine professor Tom Delaney, and UVM Medical Center pediatric critical care physician Rebecca Bell discuss trends in self poisoning among young people.
  • An awareness poster to be placed in exam rooms
  • Materials to be shared with parents, caregivers and other members of teens’ support networks:
    • Safe Teens at Home: Medication Safety is a presentation providing information on medication poisoning risks for teenagers—primarily self-poisoning—and ways parents can help prevent these poisonings.
    • “Biteables” are short video clips that could be shared in waiting rooms or on social media. Self-Poisoning Prevention for Parents of Teens is broken into two parts: Part 1Part 2

Extra copies

After reviewing the toolkit, you may wish to download stand-alone copies of some of the materials in the guidebook.

For use in your office:

  • Self-Harm in Vermont: A fact sheet for health care providers that addresses the scope of the problem and ways providers can help prevent these poisonings.
  • Patient Safety Plan: A plan that you and your at-risk patient work on together to help them manage difficult situations.
  • Self-Harm Office Checklist: A form that you and your office staff can use to ensure that all the necessary steps are followed to ensure your at-risk patients receive the best care possible.
  • Self-Harm Referral Contacts: A form you and your office staff can use to keep your key behavioral health contacts at your fingertips.

To distribute to parents, caregivers and others:


In support of improving patient care, this activity has been planned and implemented by The Robert Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, the Northern New England Poison Center and Safe Kids Vermont. The University of Vermont is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

The University of Vermont designates this Enduring Material activity for a maximum of 2.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

This program has been reviewed and is acceptable for up to 2.5 Nursing Contact Hours.

This activity was planned by and for the healthcare team, and learners will receive 2.5 Interprofessional Continuing Education (IPCE) credit for learning and change.