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Zero Suicide Academy offers Community Health Network approach to care to dramatically reduce suicides

For release on July 18, 2014

Washington, DC---Community Health Network participated in the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s first-ever Zero Suicide Academy to transform health care systems to dramatically reduce suicides among patients in our care. In this two-day training, sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), organizations learned how to incorporate best and promising practices to improve care and safety for those at risk for suicide and collaborated with the Zero Suicide Academy faculty to develop action plans.

“The Zero Suicide Academy grew out of a rising interest by health care organizations to learn how to provide better care for those at risk for suicide. The tools exist to improve care for those struggling with suicide and there is evidence that a comprehensive approach works,” said Julie Goldstein Grumet, director of Prevention and Practice, Suicide Prevention Resource Center, and part of the leadership team for the Action Alliance’s Zero Suicide priority. “Suicide is preventable and health care systems need to embrace and work towards the aspirational goal of preventing all suicide deaths for their patients in care.”

“Community Health Network was honored to be selected for this important academy,” said Suzanne Clifford, executive vice president of behavioral health at Community. “In Indiana, suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15 to 34 year olds and the third leading cause of death among 10 to 14-year-olds. No parent, sibling or friend should have to lose a loved one to suicide. We are working to prevent this tragedy."

Zero Suicide is a commitment to suicide prevention in health and behavioral health care systems and also a specific set of tools and strategies. It is both a concept and a practice. Its core proposition is that suicide deaths for people under care are preventable and that the bold goal of zero suicides among persons receiving care is an aspirational challenge that health systems should accept. The Zero Suicide approach aims to improve care and outcomes for individuals at risk of suicide in health care systems. It represents a commitment to patient safety – the most fundamental responsibility of health care – and also to the safety and support of clinical staff who treat and support suicidal patients.

The Action Alliance promotes the adoption of “zero suicides” as an organizing goal for clinical systems by providing support for efforts to transform care through leadership, policies, practices, and outcome measurement. This Action Alliance priority builds on the momentum of the 2011 report released by the Action Alliance’s Clinical Care and Intervention Task Force, Suicide Care in Systems Framework.

The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention
The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention is the public-private partnership working to advance the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention and make suicide prevention a national priority. Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) operates the Secretariat for the Action Alliance, which was launched in 2010 by former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates with the goal of saving 20,000 lives in five years.

About Community Health Network

Ranked among the nation’s most integrated healthcare systems, Community Health Network is Central Indiana’s leader in providing convenient access to exceptional healthcare services, where and when patients need them—in hospitals, health pavilions and doctor’s offices, as well as workplaces, schools and homes. As a non-profit health system with over 200 sites of care and affiliates throughout Central Indiana, Community’s full continuum of care integrates hundreds of physicians, specialty and acute care hospitals, surgery centers, home care services, MedChecks, behavioral health and employer health services. To learn more, visit eCommunity.com or call 800-777-7775.


Lynda de Widt, Media Relations
Lynda de Widt
Media Relations