Discharge Instructions

Discharge instructions are determined by your physician and will be given to you prior to leaving the hospital. If you have questions regarding your discharge instructions, we recommend that you ask your physician or nurse in charge of your care prior to leaving the hospital.

If you are a member of an HMO, please make sure that you obtain prior approval from your insurance plan before seeing a UCLA physician for follow-up appointments after discharge.

Suicide Safety Planning

Increasing Safety at Home

  • Taking these steps my help increase the amount of time someone with suicidal thoughts has to get help.


  • Removing firearms from the home can dramatically help decrease chances of death by suicide.

Pills & medications

  • Many medications can be lethal in overdose. This includes both over the counter and prescription pills.
  • Securing medications that aren’t immediately needed, and limiting access to medications that are immediately needed, can help decrease chances of death by suicide.
  • For minors and dependent adults, caregivers should keep custody of the medications and supervise administration of medications.
  • Consider purchasing a lock box to keep medications in, and a pill box to organize medications that are immediately needed.
  • Safely dispose of any medications that are no longer needed.

Household cleaners & sharps  

  • Parents of minors should consider locking household cleaners and sharp objects such as knives, which could be lethal if used in a suicide attempt.

Recreational drugs & alcohol

  • Remove or restrict access to alcohol and drugs that aren’t prescribed by treating physician. Recreational drugs and alcohol can adversely affect mood in many people and can increase impulsivity.

Know the Warning Signs

Indications that mood symptoms may be worsening

  • increased drug or alcohol use
  • increased anger, agitation or aggression
  • changes in sleep or appetite
  • changes in levels of energy and motivation
  • social withdrawal or isolation
  • decreased ability to concentrate
  • decreased interest in activities that typically bring joy
  • reckless behaviors, disregard for safety
  • talking about being a burden to others
  • giving possessions away
  • making sudden dramatic changes to appearance
  • putting affairs in order
  • talking about wanting to die **
  • acquiring weapons or researching suicide methods **
  • talking about feeling hopeless, trapped **
  • talking about having no reason to live **
  • talking about suicide **

** A person demonstrating any of these warning signs should be evaluated for potentially imminent risk for suicide.