The Mental Health Center Implements Zero Suicide Approach

After a competitive application process, The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester was accepted to participate in Zero Suicide Academy allowing eight staff members to attend a two-day training, with plans for additional staff training in the coming months.

The foundational belief of Zero Suicide is that deaths by suicide for individuals under care within health and behavioral health systems are preventable. It presents both a noble goal and an aspirational challenge.  William Rider, President and CEO of The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester stated; “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, 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.”

For health care systems, the Zero Suicide approach represents a commitment:

  • To patient safety, the most fundamental responsibility of health care
  • To the safety and support of clinical staff, who do the demanding work of treating and supporting suicidal patients

The programmatic approach of Zero Suicide is based on the realization that people who struggle with suicide often fall through the cracks in a sometimes fragmented and distracted health care system. A systematic approach to quality improvement in these settings is both available and necessary.

The challenge and implementation of Zero Suicide cannot be borne solely by the practitioners providing clinical care. Zero Suicide requires a system-wide approach to improve outcomes and close gaps. Rider added, “Deaths by suicide create a dreadful and at times an unbearable weight for the survivors.  This includes our staff. 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 an even safer and more fulfilling place to work. 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”

The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester is always there to help individuals struggling with suicide and our care and compassion begins with a phone call. If you or someone you know is struggling, please call (800) 668-3454.