Mental Health Center Adopts Suicide Prevention Model

A Letter from the President and CEO of The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester to all staff:

In July of 2017 we embarked upon a 3 year strategic plan.  As you may recall, this plan has four foundational pillars: Leadership, Sustainability, Quality/ Innovation and Community Wellness.  A key initiative squarely positioned upon the pillar of Quality and Innovation is the MHCGM implementation of Target Zero Suicide.

This bold initiative is a commitment to our patients and their families that our system of care will be designed to increase safety continuously through all phases of treatment.  Furthermore, Target Zero Suicide is a pledge that our organization will be optimally designed to support our skilled and ever compassionate staff in the detection and management of suicidal risk.

Suicide deaths create a dreadful and at times an unbearable weight for the survivors.  This includes our staff. I have experienced  first-hand the anguish and self-doubt that suicide has on even the most seasoned and resilient staff often rendering them less effective, less confident and less gratified by their work. Together, we now have an opportunity to incubate, grow and sustain a culture of zero suicide, which I believe will improve the care and outcomes for our patients, thereby making our organization a safer and more fulfilling place to work.

In September 2017, through a competitive application process, MHCGM was accepted to participate in the Zero Suicide Academy.  In November 2017, eight MGCGM staff attended the 2 day long Zero Suicide Academy foundational training.  In follow up to that training, we have established a Target Zero Suicide Implementation Team.

Target Zero Suicide is both a concept and a practice that includes a specific set of tools and strategies. It is a comprehensive approach focused to improve outcomes by establishing core competencies  for all staff, systematically monitoring suicide risk in all patients, engagement of patients in suicide care management planning, effectively using evidenced based treatments that directly target suicidality, closing fatal cracks in the system of care by making available continuous caring contacts and applying a data driven quality improvement structure that will inform us on our progress.

Our call to tenaciously pursue this life saving action for those who come into our care is something that we can take great pride in.  Indeed, suicide must not be an outcome for those who have entrusted us with their care!

Please know that I am ever grateful to each of you for the amazing work that you do each day and for your openness to new ideas!

Cheers and many thanks to you all!

Bill Rider