Skip to content

What is ASSIP flex?

Clarify basic questions about ASSIP flex

Read more about the difference between ASSIP Home Treatment (flex) and ASSIP

Find out more about the therapy process

Take a look at our online information event

Basic information

What is ASSIP flex?

The ASSIP1 (Attempted Suicide Short Intervention Program) is routinely offered to all patients who have attempted suicide. Developed and evaluated by the University Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy in Bern, ASSIP reduces the risk of further suicidal acts by 80 percent in just three to four sessions and continuous contact by letter over two years. ASSIP has been offered flexibly with mobile units in the canton of Bern since October 2021. Depending on requirements, treatment takes place as an inpatient, outpatient or home treatment. This means that patients with limited mobility and difficult accessibility can also be addressed and their environment can be more directly involved.

1 ASSIP® is a trademark registered and protected by the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (trademark no. 710930).

How effective is ASSIP?

We conducted a study at the University of Bern to investigate the effectiveness of ASSIP and determine whether it is helpful. We found that ASSIP is very effective. It reduces the risk of further suicide attempts by around 80 percent over a period of 24 months. This means that people who participate in ASSIP are much less likely to make another suicide attempt.

ASSIP comprises three to four sessions in which we work together to understand why someone is exhibiting suicidal behavior. During the sessions, personal warning signs are discussed and a plan is developed to reduce the risk of another suicide attempt.

An important part of ASSIP is building a trusting relationship between patient and therapist. This relationship is maintained through regular letters over a period of two years.

We have also found that ASSIP improves the way people deal with difficult situations. People who participate in ASSIP show fewer unhealthy and more helpful coping strategies after 24 months compared to those who undergo conventional treatment.

We also found that the reasons for life and death change over time. The reasons for death decreased more in people who had participated in ASSIP than in people who had received conventional treatment. These results show that brief interventions such as ASSIP can help to reduce the number of suicide attempts over a longer period of time.

How does ASSIP flex work?

After a suicide attempt, you should not remain alone with what you have experienced. That is why we would like to offer you treatment in which we try to better understand the background to your suicidal crisis and work together to develop individual strategies to prevent further crises. The focus is on you and the story of your suicide attempt. You are free to choose the place of therapy and this will be agreed in a short preliminary telephone consultation.

You can find more information about the process here.

I am already undergoing treatment. Is that a problem?

No. If you are already undergoing psychotherapeutic or psychiatric treatment, this is not a problem. ASSIP is a complementary service and not a substitute for (longer-term) therapy. With your consent, an exchange can take place with those already involved in your treatment.

What does ASSIP flex cost?

The costs of brief therapy are covered by health insurance (basic insurance). No further costs are incurred for home treatment, which will be covered until the end of 2025 as part of a project by the University of Bern supported by Health Promotion Switzerland.

How long ago must the suicide attempt have taken place?

ASSIP works regardless of how long ago the suicide attempt took place. This can be one week or several years ago. It is important that you are motivated to deal with the history of your suicidal experience and behavior.

Where can ASSIP flex take place?

ASSIP brief therapy can take place at your home or, by arrangement, for example at your family doctor’s, your psychologist’s, psychiatrist’s, another trusted healthcare professional’s, during an inpatient stay or with a relative. The appropriate therapy location will be agreed with you in a brief preliminary telephone consultation.

Difference between ASSIP flex and the original ASSIP

ASSIP Home Treatment

We come to you…

ASSIP is accessible to everyone. If you have concerns, are afraid of being stigmatized by a visit to a psychiatric institution, have limited mobility or cannot come to a regular ASSIP consultation for other reasons, we will be happy to come to your home, to the clinic of your choice or to the practice of a healthcare professional you trust or to a relative. The offer is available under the same conditions as the ASSIP consultation – there are no additional costs.


The content of the discussions corresponds to the regular ASSIP consultation hours.

ASSIP consultation

…or you come to us

This therapeutic offer is routinely recommended to all patients who have attempted suicide. This is because the risk of further suicidal crises is significantly increased after a suicide attempt and remains high for years to come.

ASSIP is a specific offer to clarify the background and to jointly develop strategies to prevent further suicidal crises. The brief therapy is intended as a supplement to existing outpatient, partial inpatient or inpatient therapy and is not a substitute for (longer-term) therapy.


The service comprises 3-4 sessions and continuous contact by letter over two years. By means of a narrative interview, which is recorded on video, the patterns and processes that preceded a suicidal crisis are clarified and individual warning signals, preventive behavioral measures and longer-term therapy goals are developed. At the end of the sessions, patients receive an individual emergency plan (Leporello) with specific strategies. In the following two years, we will contact the patient by letter every 3 or 6 months.

Therapy procedure

Imagine you are taking part in ASSIP brief therapy.


Initial conversation

Narrative interview

You tell the story of your suicide attempt in your own words. The interview is recorded on video. You will receive written material on the subject of suicidal experience and behavior (psychoeducation).


Second conversation:

Video playback

The recorded conversation is watched together with you. The processes are discussed together, warning signs are identified and strategies are developed.


Third conversation:

Case conception of suicidal behavior

The background to your suicidal crisis, longer-term therapy goals, warning signs and your personal crisis plan are reviewed together and recorded in writing.



Contact by letter

We will contact you over a period of two years.

Information event

For patients and relatives

Was erwartet Sie im Video?

The information video provides you with information about ASSIP flex. Topics are

  • Contents of the therapy sessions
  • Formalities such as registration and admission requirements
  • Answers to questions such as: “How can I motivate a friend to take part?”

Who is the video suitable for?

  • The information video is suitable for people who have attempted suicide and are interested in ASSIP flex therapy and want to find out more about it
  • The video is also for relatives of people with suicidal thoughts and behavior


Please complete the evaluation of the information event and help us to improve.

Participate with link: click here

QR code:

Informationsveranstaltung für Patient:innen und Angehörige