COLORADO: Hickenlooper Signs ‘Zero Suicide’ Bill into Law
June 17, 2016
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has signed a bill into law that creates a state suicide prevention plan modeled on the Zero Suicide approach. Co-sponsored by Senator Linda Newell and Representative Brittany Pettersen, who have lost brothers to suicide, the bill is an effort to reduce the state’s suicide rate, which is the seventh highest in the country. The Zero Suicide approach is centered around the goal of preventing suicide among individuals receiving care within health and behavioral health systems. Data from the Colorado Violent Death Reporting System indicate that “more than 30 percent of those who died by suicide from 2009 to 2013 were receiving some form of mental health treatment when they died.” According to Julie Goldstein Grumet, Director of Health and Behavioral Health Initiatives at SPRC, the national Zero Suicide model, “which identifies seven components to preventing suicide in health care systems, is used by hundreds of sites across the country.” It is recommended that health and behavioral health systems in Colorado adopt the seven elements of the approach: lead, train, identify, engage, treat, transition, and improve quality.
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