Suicide Surveillance Success Stories
The final webinar in the ICRC-S’s fourth annual webinar series, Successful Collaborative Research for Suicide Prevention: What Works, took place Wednesday, July 13, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Speakers from Vermont and Kentucky shared their experiences in identifying, obtaining, and analyzing suicide surveillance data to make advances in suicide prevention. Bonnie Lipton, Prevention Specialist for the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, acted as Moderator.
Inspired by the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s Suicide Care in Systems Framework, Kentucky’s Garrett Lee Smith (GLS) program and Department for Behavioral Health, Development, and Intellectual Disabilities (DBHDID) looked at data as a first step in enhancing the ability of Kentucky’s state psychiatric hospitals and community mental health centers (CMHCs) to prevent suicide. Jan Ulrich of the DBHDID shared lessons learned and next steps in improving Kentucky’s systems of care toward preventing suicide.
In 2014, Vermont’s Service Members, Veterans and Their Families Workgroup, which was convened by the governor and includes high-level leadership from state agencies, initiated a request to gather information on suicides among veterans. As part of the response, members of the Vermont Suicide Prevention Data Group (Data Group) conducted an analysis of suicides, both among veterans and among Vermont residents who had received services from state-funded mental health and substance abuse agencies. Tom Delaney of the University of Vermont College of Medicine shared the experience of working with the Data Group, which found that these data indicated that expanding the current GLS funding to include suicide prevention across the lifespan was warranted and made a case for such expansion to key constituents.