NPR’s recent What Happens If You Try To Prevent Every Single Suicide spotlights a 2001 initiative aimed at reducing the United State’s suicide rate to zero.
“An effort that began in Detroit in 2001 to treat the most common cause of suicide — depression is offering hope,” reported NPR. “With relentless focus on finding and treating people with depression, the Henry Ford Health System has cut the suicide rate among the people in its insurance plan dramatically. The story of the health system’s success is a story of persistence, confidence, hope and a strict adherence to a very specific approach.”
A broad approach to mental wellbeing, if health providers recognize a mental health issue, patients are assigned to appropriate care. Moreover, health providers are being trained to openly address suicide with their patients.
“There is a fear among clinicians that if you ask questions about suicide, you are giving the patient an idea that this could be an option,” said psychiatrist Doree Ann Espiritu.
Like the Henry Ford Health System model, Lancaster Osteopathic Health Foundation is committed to comprehensive behavioral health for Lancaster County youth. Additionally, LOHF’s web-based support tool will streamline connections and increase primary health provider’s ability to assess children’s behavioral health needs and make appropriate referrals.
LOHF actively works with the Lancaster County Suicide Prevention Coalition, a program of Mental Health America of Lancaster County and Let’s Talk Lancaster: Changing the Conversation about Mental Health, a LiveWell initiative under Lancaster General Health and United Way of Lancaster County grant recipient.