THANK YOU to all who attended the seventh regional task force meeting of the California Suicide Prevention Network for Southern California Counties! We are pleased that we could share some great information and resources with the attendees that came from San Diego, Imperial, Riverside, Orange, and San Bernardino Counties.
For this seventh meeting, we focused on Suicide Prevention in the Medical Field and with the help of Dr. Leon Altamirano, owner and consultant, AB Consulting we were able to dig deeper into Trauma-Informed Care and Behavioral Health Integration and reflect on how multidisciplinary care in a medical-model world in its different forms helps or hinders our suicide prevention efforts. Pharmacists Nathan Painter and Kelly Lee shared with us the importance of the role of pharmacists in suicide prevention and showcased a training created specifically for pharmacist and pharmacist students so they are better prepared when encountering people at risk. Jana Sczersputowski from Your Social Marketer, Inc. and AdEase shared on a campaign created specifically for Primary Care Physicians that includes an accessible micro-website with useful tools. In addition, Heather Aston from Optum Health shared why it is key to have CHAT services as part of the systems for hotlines to help with the different ways people communicate today.
Lastly, we got some updates on the Best Practices Workgroup and the different stakeholders had the opportunity to connect with each other and discuss how the information shared could help their local efforts.
As follow up, I would like for you to consider the following take-a way’s from this meeting:
1. This taskforce is funded through CalMHSA and coming this June 30, 2014 the funding to have these CSPN taskforce meetings will be ending. The last CSPN taskforce meeting coordinated by Community Health Improvement Partners (CHIP) will be held in Orange County in late June 2014, Didi Hirsch will be present more on this at that meeting. Post June 2014 the counties in the region will have to decide if they will continue the taskforce meetings and in what capacity, to date nothing has been decided. CHIP plans to help share information on how they have been done to date before the 6/2014 end date. And the website will also go offline March 2015.
2. Why focus on suicide prevention in the medical field? Did you know that 45% of people who die from suicide had contact with a Primary Care Provider (PCP) within one month of their death? The recommendation is to provide greater support to Medical & Behavioral Health providers, increase PCH evidence-based practices, and enlist every provider in the process of increasing the quality of care provided in Primary Care. The factors that contribute to mental & medical problems in the U.S. are trauma, trauma response, intergenerational transmission of trauma response, loss of life-style protective factors, and rise of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE). These in turn reflect back major psychosocial, environmental and medical problems in adulthood and ultimately increases our chances of premature death. To access the presentation click here.
3. Why Pharmacists? One of the most trusted professionals and often the most accessible healthcare professionals, they practice in multiple settings community pharmacies, academic and community hospitals, ambulatory care clinics, long-term care facilities, managed care organizations, government agencies and they provide a potential method of choice = drugs. Increasing pharmacists’ knowledge of suicide risk and prevention strategies through trainings can have a positive impact in their daily practice. Pharmacists must be equipped with information and referral resources for their patients. Pharmacists are ideally positioned to identify persons at risk of suicide and make referrals. To see the whole presentation click here.
4. How Primary Care Providers have been outreached to in San Diego County. The goal was to provide primary care providers in these community clinic settings with resources, tools, and trainings to routinely screen, diagnose and treat patients with mental health needs. Specifically the program aimed to increase awareness of resources for providers and their patients; and to encourage providers and their office staff to have office policies in place to recognize and respond to patients at risk of suicide and/or with mental health needs. A micro-website was created that can be useful to any PCP outside of the San Diego County. For more information on the resources available click here.
5. Why is CHAT important to our Hotlines? Accessibility- few families have home phones anymore, and for people without cell phones, the Internet might be the only option. 76.7% of households have Internet; Proximity to Others- people who live with others or are in a public place may not want to risk those people overhearing their problems; Extra Layer of Anonymity- cannot recognize a voice, unable to determine gender; Hearing and/or Speech Issues- people with hearing and/or speech problems may have difficulty on the phone; Shyness or Anxiety- no one wants to be judged, and sometimes it’s easier to write your feelings. Ultimately 40-80% of CHAT visitors are thinking about suicide at the time of the chat so its time to get with the times. To see full presentation click here.
6. Our Best Practices Workgroup has had meetings in September, October, November and January they have submitted the It’s Up to Us Media Campaign as the Best Practice that will represent the South Region for the Suicide Prevention Best Practices Registry and are currently waiting to hear back on the results of the submission to the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC). We would like to give a big THANK YOU to all those CSPN members that participated throughout this process from the Regional Planning Committee to the Best Practice Workgroup, we couldn’t have done this without you! For more information click here.
7. Upcoming trainings opportunities were shared for two A11 ASIST Upgrade in Los Angeles in tandem with the American Association for Suicidology Annual Conference. The cost is only $35 to attend, materials are free. If you are interested contact Sandra Godard from Living Works at Sandra.firstname.lastname@example.org . Both workshops are limited to 20 trainers. April 8th is sponsored by the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and dedicated to active Crisis Line ASIST Trainers. April 9th is open to active ASIST trainers. If you are unsure of your trainer status or know that you are inactive, please contact Harold Thannhauser, Living Works at email@example.com. He will work with you to develop a plan for reactivation.
8. As stakeholders in suicide prevention, we can accomplish more through collaboration with other stakeholders, and coordination of our efforts. Before our next meeting, think about what you, either as an individual and/or through your organization, can do to help leverage your efforts with others who are also working on suicide prevention efforts in your community. Connect with them and also with other counties that had models you would like to get more information on to help improve your reach. This will help in strengthen your local efforts.
9. Ask the Question. We can save a life by asking the question, “Are you thinking about suicide?” and referring to an appropriate mental health professional. Remember, your local crisis line, or 1-800-273 TALK is a terrific resource if you are helping someone in crisis, or if you yourself need support.
10. Join the continued effort! Join the CSPN to receive regular updates about our ongoing activities and events. Attend and provide input at our quarterly task force meetings, and invite others who should be involved.
All meeting materials from this and past meetings can be found here.
We would like to thank you for attending, participating and special thanks to all the presenters of the day. It’s because of all of you that we will be successful in preventing suicide across our Counties. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 858-609-7969. Thank you ALL for your dedication to suicide prevention!
Yeni, Dana and Elizabeth
Yeni L. Palomino| Program Manager| Community Health Improvement Partners | 858.609.7969 | email@example.com