MICHIGAN: Detroit tackles suicide taboos head on

March 13, 2015

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

The Guardian

Since the implementation 14 years ago of a comprehensive prevention approach now known as Zero Suicide, the Henry Ford Health System has achieved a dramatic drop in the suicide rate of its mental health patients – from 89 down to 16 per 100,000. One key element of the program is screening all patients (including those being seen for physical conditions) for depression. Electronic health records are linked throughout the system, so that each patient’s mental and physical health information is accessible at all of Henry Ford’s facilities. And mental health care practitioners in the system address suicide risk directly with patients they think might be struggling. Doree Ann Espiritu, a psychiatrist in the system, said that “establishing a blame-free environment” has also been essential to the success of Zero Suicide.

Spark Extra! Learn more about the Zero Suicide approach.