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From Awareness to Action

Jerry Reed, SPRC

It’s time to talk about the big picture. The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention has set an aspirational goal of saving 20,000 lives over 5 years.  To meet this challenge, we need to understand how our best prevention and treatment efforts can be combined to have the greatest possible impact.

Over the last 15 years, those of us committed to bringing a public health approach to suicide prevention have accomplished a great deal. We have built infrastructure, expanded capacity, mobilized a workforce, contributed to the body of knowledge, created political will, and identified best practices that can help prevent suicidal behaviors. We have revised the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention and created the Action Alliance to advance this strategy. This month has seen the release of A Prioritized Research Agenda for Suicide Prevention:  An Action Plan to Save Lives. Much has been accomplished.  Yet much remains to be done.

I always try to remember that suicide is both a public health problem and an individual health problem. We need to honor both approaches if we want to save lives. From a clinical perspective, this means introducing effective assessment practices, sound clinical judgment, and proven therapies to help individuals in need recover and reengage with society. We have best practices at the clinical level - dialectical behavioral therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy, to cite two examples. But when we look at clinical practice from a public health perspective, new questions emerge. One of the most important is, “Are mental health providers actually using the best clinical practices for preventing suicide?” If we want to achieve results and save lives, we in the field of suicide prevention should support the dissemination and implementation of clinical best practices, as well as best practices that take a public health approach, such as safe messaging and strategies to protect vulnerable people from access to highly lethal means.

The real opportunities to “move the needle” and lower the rate of suicide are in intervening at the population level. What are those opportunities? I’ve just discussed one – taking a best practice to scale to maximize its impact. Another opportunity is to create comprehensive programs that include a number of complementary best practices. The United States Air Force Suicide Prevention Program is a model of this type of comprehensive program. We should not make the mistake of thinking that a single best practice will transform our world. A study in England by While, et al., demonstrated that providers who implemented at least seven of nine recommendations for improving mental health services reduced suicide rates among their patient populations. Combining best practices into comprehensive programs and institutionalizing those programs is how we transform systems.

And we need to embrace systems transformation if we really want to have an impact. We’ve seen how the Perfect Depression Program at the Henry Ford Health System made suicide prevention an entry-to-exit concern. Systems transformation is the final stage of the journey that begins with understanding how best practices can reduce the suicide risk of individuals, continues with learning how best practices can function together in comprehensive packages, and leads finally to integrating these comprehensive efforts into the very structure of health care systems for maximum impact.

We’ve mobilized the nation’s attention and built awareness that suicide is preventable.  As a member of the suicide prevention field, I am proud of what we’ve achieved. We’ve introduced hope that we can do something to reduce the tenth leading cause of death in the nation. Now, we must challenge ourselves to pursue the results that we know are in our reach, and document those results through evaluation, publication, dissemination, and broad-scale replication. We need to continue to raise the public’s awareness on the prevention of suicide and honor that awareness - and the resources it brings - by taking action and saving lives.

For more information on the study by While, et al., see the Weekly Spark from June 8, 2012.


For more information about the Perfect Depression Program, visit the Henry Ford Health System website.

JedCampus

Setting 
Colleges and Universities
Type of Program 
Guidelines & Protocols
2001 NSSP Goals Addressed 
5.2, 8.3 (2012)
Description 

JedCampus is an online self-assessment program that provides colleges with a tool to evaluate their compliance with the elements of the Jed Foundation/SPRC Model for Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention (including strategic planning). Schools that meet minimum standards across the following eight domains receive a JedCampus seal: (1) strategic planning, (2) Identifying students at risk, (3) educate gatekeepers on campus, (4) provide mental Health services, (5) restrict access to potentially lethal means, (6) create and follow crisis management procedures, (7) increase help-seeking behavior, and (8) develop life skills/promote social networks. JedCampus is available from the Jed Foundation for a fee.

Program Description 

JedCampus is an online self-assessment program that provides colleges with a tool to evaluate their compliance with the elements of the Jed Foundation (TJF)/Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) model for college- and university-based mental health promotion and suicide prevention (including strategic planning). Schools will be given guidance in planning and programming as part of the program and schools that are in adequate compliance with the model will be awarded a JedCampus seal. The goal is to create positive movement toward greater adoption of the elements of this public/community health model. 

Further goals of the problem include: educating higher administration in colleges as to the importance of supporting student emotional health and wellbeing, as well as campus suicide prevention activities; alerting parents of young people applying for college about the nature and breadth of support services on various college campuses; and finally, as sufficient data is collected, to evaluate the impact of mental health programming on suicide and hospitalization rates among students and to explore the relationship between campus mental health programming and student retention. Schools that meet minimum standards across the following eight domains receive a JedCampus seal: (1) strategic planning, (2) Identifying students at risk, (3) educate gatekeepers on campus, (4) provide mental Health services, (5) restrict access to potentially lethal means, (6) create and follow crisis management procedures, (7) increase help-seeking behavior, and (8) develop life skills/promote social networks.

Elements of the TJF/SPRC model were reviewed and converted to survey questions with the input of an advisory panel of mental health experts, college counseling directors, and leaders and student affairs leadership. The survey was then piloted in a project with the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). The survey was reviewed again with higher education and college counseling leaders and input was received from theory of change experts from the Poses Family Foundation. 

Objectives 

Colleges and universities that use JedCampus will have greater:
1. Understanding of the degree of their compliance with the Jed Foundation/SPRC model among colleges.
2. Ability to aid families in the college selection process.
3. Ability to evaluate impact of model compliance on suicide rates, hospital admissions and days, and college retention/graduation rates.

Implementation Essentials 
  • Colleges and universities that use JedCampus should be knowledgeable about The Jed Foundation/SPRC model for mental health promotion and suicide prevention.
Contact Information 
Victor Schwartz, MD
Medical Director, The Jed Foundation
1140 Broadway, suite 803
New York, NY 10001
Voice: 212-647-7544
Website (Foundation): www.jedfoundation.org
Website (Program): www.jedcampus.org
Organization 
The Jed Foundation
Costs 

JedCampus costs $650. This includes submission of the survey, feedback report, and feedback call and seal if school is eligible. This price may increase but may also be adjusted for schools that cannot afford it.

First Posted 
Nov 12 2013

AMSR: Wheeler Clinic (EMPS-PIC)

Friday, August 23, 2013 - 9:00am - 5:00pm
Format 
Face-to-face
Description 
Only Open to Emergency Mobile Psychiatric Services (EMPS) Personnel.
Sponsors 
Wheeler Clinic
Event Contact
Janet Hayes
(860) 793-9791
Location 
Bridgeport, CT

Suicide prevention data center (SPDC)

This website provides access to portions of data collected during cross-site evaluations of grantees of the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act, a program supporting suicide prevention among individuals aged 10-24.  Aggregated data are available from the evaluations for all state, campus, tribal or state/tribal grantees for all cohorts, all years, under broad topics after agreeing to terms of use. There is also a mechanism for requesting raw data. 

Themes of data reports include: Suicide Prevention Strategies; Suicide Prevention Trainings; Identification, Referral, and Services Received by Youth At-risk for Suicide; and Perceptions of Suicide and Suicide Prevention on College Campuses

Creator 
ICF International
Publisher 
ICF International
Date published 
2013
Full Text Online 
Yes

AMSR: UW - Stevens Point & MHA - Wisconsin

Friday, October 4, 2013 - 8:30am - 5:00pm
Format 
Face-to-face
Description 
Potential attendees will be court personnel, law enforcement, school administrators, emergency services personnel & faculty personnel, social workers, hospital personnel, substance abuse professionals, jail personnel, nursing professionals: mental health, jail, and school nurses, mental health professionals
Additional Description 
1365 Kalahari Drive, PO Box 590
Sponsors 
University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point
Mental Health America of Wisconsin
Event Contact
Wayne Sorenson
(715) 346-4069
Location 
Kalahari Resort and Convention Center Wisconsin Dells, WI

AMSR: Communicare Services, Inc.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013 - 8:30am - 5:00pm
Format 
Face-to-face
Description 
Assessing & Managing Suicide Risk: Core Competencies for Mental Health Professionals meets providers’ need for research-informed, skills-based training.
Additional Description 
(Communicare Hardin County Industries)
Sponsors 
Communicare Services Inc.
Event Contact
Adam Trosper
(502) 229-0666
Location 
320 Ring Road Elizabethtown, KY

AMSR: NAMI NH

Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - 8:30am - 5:00pm
Description 
This workshop is open to mental health providers from throughout the state of NH.
Sponsors 
New Hampshire - NAMI New Hampshire
Event Contact
Patrick Roberts
(603) 225-5359
Location 
The Community Campus - Indoor Playroom Portsmouth, NH

AMSR: NAMI NH

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - 8:30am - 5:00pm
Format 
Face-to-face
Description 
This AMSR workshop will be for mental health providers from throughout the state of NH.
Sponsors 
New Hampshire - NAMI New Hampshire
Event Contact
Patrick Roberts
(603) 225-5359
Location 
17 High Street Plymouth, NH

AMSR: Mental Health Association - Tulsa

Monday, June 10, 2013 - 8:30am - 5:00pm
Format 
Face-to-face
Description 
Behavioral Health Clinicians, Nurses and other Primary Healthcare and Emergency Department Staff
Sponsors 
Mental Health Association in Tulsa
Event Contact
Karen LaPlante
(918) 382-2411
Location 
TBD Tulsa, OK

AMSR: Panhandle Mental Health Ctr.

Friday, May 24, 2013 - 8:30am - 5:00pm
Format 
Face-to-face
Description 
Mental Health and Substance Abuse clinicians, law enforcement, and ER doctors.
Sponsors 
Panhandle Mental Health Center
Event Contact
Sue Teal
(308) 632-4412
Location 
Region 1 Behavioral Health Authority Scottsbluff, NE
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