Horowitz – Asking about Suicide in Healthcare Settings

I subscribe to AFSP, American Foundation of Suicide Prevention, emails and I got one the other day on Project 2025. They have a goal of reducing suicide by twenty percent by 2025–a bold and ambitious goal given that suicide rates went up more than 30% in half of states in the U.S. since 1999.

They’ve earmarked four areas to focus on and since I do a lot with healthcare systems, I clicked on that and holy toledo my friend Dr. Lisa Horowitz was the star of the video. She and I are co-presenting with Jeff Bridge at the Pediatric Academic Society Conference and we’ve presented several times together. I immediately texted her about it and she didn’t know it was posted yet. It’s always a surprise to see someone you know when you are not expecting it. She is on the youth suicide prevention team at NIMH and has done a lot of research for the ASQ suicide screening tool for which I support and have been involved with for the last three years.

Our unified goal is to encourage pediatric physicians and emergency rooms to implement this 4-question screening tool in their pediatric practices to prevent suicide. A local doctor, Dr. Abernathy, was the first physician to implement the tool into his practice and I did a video of him and Dr. Keel a few years ago.

The AFSP 2025 goal is to focus these four areas to reduce suicide:

Healthcare systems

Strategy
Project 2025 is collaborating with the country’s largest healthcare systems and accrediting organizations to accelerate the acceptance and adoption of risk identification and suicide prevention strategies we know work.

Projection
By identifying one out of every five at-risk people in large healthcare systems – such as during primary care and behavioral health visits – and providing them with short-term intervention and better follow-up care, we can expect an estimated 9,200 lives saved through 2025.

Emergency rooms

Strategy
Basic screening and interventions can provide a safety net for at-risk patients seen in emergency departments.

Projection
Project 2025 is educating emergency medicine providers, and collaborating with key accrediting and professional organizations to improve the acceptance and adoption of suicide screening and preventative intervention as the standard in emergency care.

By screening one out of five people seen in ERs, and providing short-term interventions such as Safety Planning and follow-up care, we can expect an estimated 1,100 lives saved through 2025.

Corrections Systems

Strategy
We need to change the culture of suicide prevention in our country’s jails and prisons.

Projection
By screening for and identifying 50% of at-risk individuals at key points within the corrections system, such as at times of entry and exit, and delivering comprehensive care that addresses both physical and mental health, we can expect an estimated 1,100 lives saved through 2025.

Firearms

Sixty percent of all firearm deaths are suicides.

Strategy
By working with key partners, we can educate the range, retail, and broader firearms-owning communities on how to spot suicide risk, and know what steps they can take to save lives.

Projection
If half the people who purchase firearms are exposed to suicide prevention education, we can expect an estimated 9,500 lives saved through 2025.

I am passionate about preventing youth suicide so I’m more plugged in with the healthcare systems and encouraging the use of the ASQ 4-question suicide screening that is an evidence-based tool for 10-24 year olds in medical practices and ERs.

See all the ASQ posts on this website

Published by

Anne Moss Rogers

I am an emotionally naked TEDx speaker, and author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk. I raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost my younger son, Charles to substance use disorder and suicide on June 5, 2015. I help people foster a culture of connection to prevent suicide, reduce substance misuse and find life after loss. My motivational, training and workshop topics include suicide prevention, addiction, mental illness, coping strategies/resilience, and grief. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory. Professional Speaker Website. Trained in ASIST and trainer for the evidence-based 4-hour training for everyone called safeTALK.

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