Hathaway-Sycamores Staff Attend Zero Suicide Academy

Posted by on Jul 7, 2014 in News | 0 comments

Three members of Hathaway-Sycamores’ Clinical Training & Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) Team (Alyssa Ward, Andrea Letamendi and Shefali D’Sa) went to Washington, DC last month for the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s first-ever Zero Suicide Academy to support our efforts in prevention of suicide for our consumers and families.

Hathaway-Sycamores'  staff members (from left) Alyssa Ward, Andrea Letamendi and Shefali D’Sa

Hathaway-Sycamores’ staff members (from left) Alyssa Ward, Andrea Letamendi and Shefali D’Sa

We were honored to be one of the few teams from across the country selected (and awarded full funding for two of our three staff) to attend the two-day event. In the 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.”

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 (www.ActionAllianceforSuicidePrevention.org) 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.

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