Emergency Departments: A Key Setting for Suicide Prevention

Event Type:  General Webinar
Date:  Tuesday, June 16, 2015 - 3:00pm (America/New_York)
Sponsor:  SPRC

For information, contact:

Dominique Lieu
(617) 618-2314

With close to 500,000 patients visiting emergency departments (EDs) for self-inflicted injuries each year (NEISS, 2012), EDs have a pivotal role to play in preventing suicide. However, EDs face challenges addressing the needs of suicidal patients due to the fast-paced environment, the complex nature of suicide, stigma, and barriers to accessing follow-up care. This webinar will bring together experts in emergency medicine, emergency psychiatry, and research to: describe the rationale for ED-focused suicide prevention; discuss barriers and solutions to integrating suicide prevention in EDs; and introduce a new guide, Caring for Adult Patients with Suicide Risk: A Consensus Guide for Emergency Departments.

Learning Objectives:

  • Summarize the rationale for emphasizing emergency department settings in suicide prevention efforts
  • Understand the roles and responsibilities of ED professionals
  • Discuss barriers to implementing suicide prevention strategies and ways to address them
  • Describe a new resource to support implementation of suicide prevention approaches in emergency departments

Event Presenter(s)

Dr. Marian (Emmy) Betz, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine

Leslie S. Zun, MD, MBA, System Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine, Sinai Health System; Chairman & Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine; Secondary Appointment, Department of Psychiatry at the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science/Chicago Medical School

Michael H. Allen, MD, Professor of Psychiatry and Emergency Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine; Medical Director, Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners

Edwin Boudreaux, PhD, Director of Research, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Dr. Marian (Emmy) Betz, MD, MPH is a board-certified emergency physician who works clinically at the University of Colorado Hospital Emergency Department (ED) and also conducts research in injury epidemiology and prevention. She is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the Colorado School of Public Health. She received her medical degree and Masters in Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins. In 2014, she was selected to serve on the Colorado Suicide Prevention Commission, and she chairs the Commission's committee on emergency services.Dr. Betz's areas of research expertise are "lethal means restriction" (i.e., limiting access to guns and other lethal methods for those who are suicidal) and the care of suicidal patients in EDs. She has worked with various national organizations on issues of suicide prevention, including the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and the Injury Control and Emergency Health Services Section of the American Public Health Association. Her research has received funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and the Emergency Medicine Foundation, and she has served as Site Principal Investigator for the multi-site ED-SAFE trial. Her prior work has included publications and presentations related to ED provider attitudes towards lethal means restriction for suicide prevention, suicidality among older adults, as well as the epidemiology of suicide by altitude, rural residence, and Hispanic ethnicity. She also conducts research related to geriatric injury prevention and is a current recipient of a Paul Beeson Career Development Award from the National Institute on Aging.

Leslie S. Zun, M.D., M.B.A. is the System Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine in the Sinai Health System in Chicago, Illinois and Chairman & Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine and a secondary appointment in the Department of Psychiatry at the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science/Chicago Medical School in North Chicago, Illinois. His background includes a medical degree (M.D.) from Rush Medical College and a business degree (M.B.A.) from Northwestern University's JL Kellogg School of Management. He is board certified in Emergency Medicine by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Zun was a chief operating officer and acting chief executive officer for a 200 bed hospital in Chicago. Dr Zun?s research interests include healthcare administration, violence prevention and behavioral emergencies. His publications have addressed the administration of the hospitals and emergency departments, physicians? bonus and incentive plans and quality improvement topics. He has presented his research and lectured on these topics both nationally and internationally. He is a board member of American Academy of Emergency Medicine and the President Elect for the American Association for Emergency Psychiatry. He is the chief editor of the Behavioral Emergencies for Emergency Physicians textbook and course director for the past five years for the National Update on Behavioral Emergencies conference.

Edwin Boudreaux, PhD is a clinical psychologist and Professor of Emergency Medicine, Psychiatry, and Quantitative Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He is Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Emergency Medicine. He has extensive experience with screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) for a range of behavioral health conditions in medical settings, with a particular focus on acute medical settings like the emergency department. Target behaviors include suicide and substance abuse. He brings expertise in Cognitive Behavioral Therapies, Motivational Interviewing, and a variety of strategies designed to improve screening, assessment, and management of suicide risk. A primary focus of his research has been developing and studying a variety of technologies designed to assist with identification and management of behavioral health needs in medical settings and fostering behavior change and connection to outpatient care after an acute medical encounter.

Michael H. Allen, MD hails from the Carolina Low Country and grew up on the Marine bases at Parris Island and Quantico.  He attended Florida State University, received his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina and trained in psychiatry at the Institute of Living where he served as chief resident.  He went on to serve on the faculty of Cornell and later New York University School of Medicine.  While at NYU, he developed the model Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program at Bellevue Hospital, mentioned in New York Magazine’s “Best Hospitals in New York.” Currently he is an attending at the Colorado Depression Center, part of the National Network of Depression Center, consultant at the University of Colorado Hospital and medical director of the new Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners. 

Dr. Allen was a principal investigator in the NIMH Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program for Bipolar Disorder, a part of the STEP-BD Suicide Work Group and author of five publications related to suicidal ideation and behavior in STEP-BD.  He developed and validated the Clinical Global Impression Scale for Schizoaffective Disorder.  He has been a principal investigator for many clinical trials and led investigator training at more than 50 meetings in the US, Europe, South America, Russia, India and Asia.  He received a NARSAD Independent Investigator award for the study of nicotine and agitation and was a principal investigator in the testing of inhaled loxapine for agitation.  He was a member the NIH Emergency Medicine Roundtable and an author of their recommendations for emergency services research on suicide, agitation and delirium.  He is now a co-investigator on the NIH Emergency Department Safety Assessment and Follow-up Evaluation study (ED SAFE) and PRISM, a MOMRP study of suicide screening in military primary care settings.      

He has served as president of the American Association and vice president of the International Association for Emergency Psychiatry, chair of the American Psychiatric Association Task Force on Psychiatric Emergency Services, lead expert for the Expert Consensus Guideline for the Management of Behavioral Emergencies, member of the American College of Emergency Physicians clinical policy committee, president of the board of the Carson J Spencer Foundation, and consultant to the US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.  He has been a panelist for the Expert Consensus Guideline for Bipolar Disorder, the Colorado Clinical Guidelines Collaborative Depression Program, the Colorado Governor’s Advisory Panel on Suicide and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Co-occurring Disorders Guidelines.  He is currently a member of the Am Association of Suicidology Board Development Committee and Nominating Committees, a charter member of the Military Suicide Research Consortium, serves on the steering committee of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-TALK FREE) and is a senior scientific advisor at ProPhase, LLC.  As a grantee of the Colorado Trust, he helped to enact legislation creating the Colorado Suicide Prevention Commission and serves as a Commissioner.   

He is the author or editor of three books, former editor of Emergency Psychiatry, a reviewer for the Cochrane Collaborative and is currently associate editor of General Hospital Psychiatry.  He is board certified in psychiatry with added qualifications in addictions and is a certified suicide prevention gatekeeper instructor.  He is a professor of Psychiatry and Emergency Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

Settings:  Emergency Departments