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Intermountain Healthcare Announces Zero Suicide Initiative

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, USA, July 19, 2018 /EINPresswire.com/ -- A new initiative, called Zero Suicide, will be helping to reduce suicide losses in Utah -- which have been increasing for the past few years. Utah has one of the highest suicide rates in the nation. Several studies released recently by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have shown that suicide rates have increased among all age groups.

"Last year, 45,000 people died by suicide in the United States, 630 of them in Utah," said Mark Foote, MD, senior medical director of Intermountain Healthcare Behavioral Health. "Suicide is not a new problem. The rate has gone up and down over time, but over the last 15 years, the rate has steadily gone up. This is no longer just a behavioral health problem — this is a public health crisis. We need to engage our entire system and our communities in combatting this horrible problem."

Intermountain Healthcare, the State of Utah, and numerous community groups have partnered together to find ways to reduce the deaths. Intermountain will target their suicide prevention efforts in three areas:

• Improving access to behavioral care, in part by adhering to best practices to screen, assess, and develop safety plans.
• Preparing caregivers and community organizations about how to talk about suicide and help those at risk seek help and create safety plans.
• Raising awareness about restricting access to lethal means.

Intermountain has worked for the past decade on mental health integration – bringing mental health best practices into the primary care provider’s offices. A family doctor can screen for depression, anxiety and other mental health concerns – and help get resources for their patients to be treated.

"In the future, none of us should feel at a loss for what we can do to help. As we implement the Zero Suicide framework as a part of our overall commitment to Zero Harm, we'll take a systematic approach to quality improvement that will make it easier for all of us to lead together to achieve Zero Suicide. Zero is the only acceptable number," said Mikelle Moore, Intermountain’s senior vice president of Community Health.

Intermountain Healthcare is a Utah-based not-for-profit system of 22 hospitals, 170 clinics, a Medical Group with about 2,300 employed physicians and advanced practice clinicians, a health plans group called SelectHealth, and other medical services. Intermountain is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare through high quality and sustainable costs. For more information about Intermountain, visit www.intermountainhealthcare.org.

Daron Cowley
Intermountain Healthcare
801-442-2834
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