MONTANA: Tragedy deepens resolve for Butte suicide-prevention group

November 13, 2015
News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News
State:  Montana

The Montana Standard

Years of high suicide rates and then the suicides of three youth in six weeks propelled a group of community members in Butte to form the Butte-Silver Bow Suicide Prevention Committee to study the problem and take action. They reviewed data from the Montana Suicide Review Team, which included statewide information on key contributing risk factors, such as mental illness, substance abuse, isolation, and access to firearms. They made it a priority to provide information about storing guns and to give out gun locks. Now they are forming the Butte-Silver Bow Suicide Mortality Review Team to find more local-level data. The goal is to discover trends that will help them determine where changes need to be made in suicide prevention systems and where better linkages can be established between services. In the meantime, Montana Soars (Support, Outreach and Access for the Resiliency of Students), facilitated by one of the committee members, has already been examining the linkages between school-based mental health services and community based services and setting up evidence-based suicide prevention and awareness programs. In addition, two local health care organizations and the local health department are preparing to work with physicians and other providers to give every primary care patient a mental health screening.

Spark Extra! For an example of a state suicide review team’s annual data report, see Montana’s 2014 report.

Planning and Implementing:  Finding and Using Data
Strategies:  Identify and Assist, Care Transitions/Linkages