OREGON: New Approach to Suicide Prevention: Aim for Zero

March 31, 2017
News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News
State:  Oregon

The Bulletin

Efforts to adopt the Zero Suicide Initiative at state, county, and community levels are underway in Oregon. The state is currently shifting the role of its suicide prevention coordinator to focus on Zero Suicide, and public health practitioners are compiling Zero Suicide strategies from across Oregon to develop a toolkit for providers. County and community-level health care systems are also making progress implementing the initiative. For example, Washington County’s suicide prevention council has led a push for county-wide adoption of the Zero Suicide approach and has been providing training and assistance to behavioral health care organizations on implementation. Washington County Suicide Prevention Coordinator Meghan Crane described how a health needs assessment helped to identify where to focus their efforts. “We really saw that suicide had a significant impact on our community, particularly among older white men and our veteran population,” she said. “In the past, it’s been about heroic efforts of individual clinicians saving people. We need to put in a system-wide safety net that will save [lives instead].”

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