Indiana – Community Health Network

Zero Suicides for Indiana Youth
Garrett Lee Smith State

Community Health Network Zero Suicides for Indiana Youth will prevent suicide attempts and deaths of Indiana youth ages 10-24. Healthcare and youth serving organizations will be trained to identify and refer at-risk youth. Crisis, telepsychiatry and intensive care coordination services will support over 600 primary care physicians, 11 emergency departments and 13 hospitals. Over 5,000 youth per year will receive evidence-based assessments and treatments.

The Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction designated Community Health Network as the lead entity because it has the most comprehensive youth services in the state and it was already working to become the 1st large health system in the country to fully implement the Zero Suicides model. The Zero Suicides for Indiana Youth project will leverage the best practice toolkit developed by the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. Youth, families, survivors, youth serving organizations, policy makers, emergency departments, medical-surgical units, primary care, general medical providers, behavioral health entities and crisis services will:

  • Promote systems-level change among youth-serving agencies and health care providers
  • Improve the preparedness of youth-serving organizations (schools, foster care systems and juvenile justice programs) to identify risk and provide timely intervention and referrals
  • Improve the preparedness of clinical service providers (primary and behavioral) to assess, manage, and treat youth at risk for suicide and provide timely intervention and referrals, while adopting an institution-wide cultural adoption of the Zero Suicides in Healthcare model
  • Improve access to timely care for youth in suicidal crisis
  • Strengthen care coordination and continuity of care for youth at risk of suicide
  • Evaluate the impact of the project, disseminate lessons learned, and replicate the model

Zero Suicides for Indiana Youth is aligned with the 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. Suicide prevention resources will be provided to increase the number of persons in youth-serving organizations throughout the state trained to identify/refer youth at risk for suicide and to advertise the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. It will increase the number of clinical service providers trained to assess, manage, and treat youth at risk for suicide. Continuity of care and follow-up of youth identified at risk for suicide discharged from emergency departments and inpatient psychiatric units will be improved. Outreach will engage youth at higher risk such as individuals who are homeless, ethnic minorities, in foster care, in the juvenile justice system and LGBTQ. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-34 year olds and the third among 10-14 year olds. The CDCs 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey revealed that the percentage of Indiana students actually attempting suicide was the 2nd highest among the 43 states surveyed, demonstrating the critical need for Zero Suicides for Indiana Youth.