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No-Harm Contracts

No-harm contracts (NHCs) are those that document the commitment of a client not to engage in suicidal behaviors. They may also be used for other types of self- and other-injury but are most commonly associated with suicidality. Other common terms used to describe NHCs are no-suicide contracts, no-suicide agreements, contracting for safety, and suicide prevention contracts. Rather than focusing on what clients will not do (kill themselves), safety plans outline what a client will do in response to suicidal ideation. Safety plans are created jointly by the client and therapist and are intended to act as step-by-step guides for increasing client coping skills and the likelihood of staying safe in a crisis situation. Despite the lack of strong empirical evidence supporting their effectiveness, NHCs are ...

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