April 2015 Blogs
SAMHSA's Suicide Prevention Mobile App to Help Health Care Providers Save Lives
A mobile app called Suicide Safe, created by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), was released in March. Suicide Safe gives behavioral and primary health care providers tips on how to assess for suicidal risk, communicate effectively with patients and their families, determine appropriate next steps, and make referrals when needed. The app is available at no cost through SAMHSA's website.
Suicide is a significant problems in tribal communities, and we are working closely with tribal, federal, state, and community leadership to stop this preventable issue. Almost half of people who die by suicide have visited a primary care provider in the month prior to their death, and 20 percent have had contact with mental health services. Yet, many behavioral and primary health care providers have never received training on how to assess and manage suicidal patients.
Suicide Safe is a resource learning tool that provides examples of case studies, mock dialogue, and educational materials. One of the downloadable tribal publications accessible from the app is To Live to See the Great Day That Dawns: Preventing Suicide by American Indian and Alaska Native Youth and Young Adults. This guide lays the groundwork for comprehensive prevention planning, with prevention broadly defined to include programs that a community can use to promote the mental health of its youth. The guide also covers actions communities can take in response to a suicide to help heal and thereby prevent related suicidal behaviors.
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