Check-in With You: The Older Adult Hopelessness Screening Program (OAHS)

Date: 2015
(For resources, this is the publication date. For programs, this is the date posted.)

Information

Type:  Program/Practice, Screening Program, Guidelines/Recommendations
Organization:  Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency
Costs: 

Check-in With You: The Older Adult Hopelessness Screening Program is available as a free PDF by contacting Christi Lupkes at clupkes@tularehhsa.org. The Beck Hopelessness Scale manual, forms, and scoring kit are available for purchase from www.beckscales.com.

Contact

Christi Lupkes
MHSA Manager, Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency
5957 South Mooney Boulevard
Visalia, CA 93277
(559) 624-8000

Check-in With You: The Older Adult Hopelessness ScreeningProgram (OAHS), developed by Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency, assesses levels of hopelessness in older adults and provides early intervention services to reduce suicide risk, improve quality of care, and prevent the onset of serious mental illness. All adults 55+ receiving primary health care services are screened for hopelessness and suicidal intent. The Beck Hopelessness Scale® is administered before patients’ health appointments. Those who screen as moderate to severe are offered early intervention services. Patients who choose to participate receive ongoing support, mental health case management, short-term intervention, and warm linkages to local services that can help improve social, physical, environmental, emotional, and financial wellness.

Program Objectives

Organizations that implement OAHS will:

  1. Increase their capacity to identify suicide risk in older adult patients in primary care;
  2. Improve their identification of older adults (55+) who are feeling hopeless or may be at risk of suicide;
  3. Make more interventions available to older adults identified to be at risk of suicide; and
  4. Increase both awareness of mental health and community resources, and access to these resources.

Implementation Essentials

  • Primary care settings that use OAHS should have established protocols for managing patients who may be at risk for suicide.

2012 NSSP Objectives Addressed: 

Objective 5.3: Intervene to reduce suicidal thoughts and behaviors in populations with suicide risk.
Objective 5.4: Strengthen efforts to increase access to and delivery of effective programs and services for mental and substance use disorders.
Objective 9.1: Adopt, disseminate, and implement guidelines for the assessment of suicide risk among persons receiving care in all settings.
Populations:  Older Adults
Settings:  Health Care, Primary Care
Strategies:  Identify and Assist, Screening and Assessment, Effective Care/Treatment, Care Transitions/Linkages