Sep 20, 2021

In the harshest of circumstances, thoughts of suicides can ring through the minds of those battling substance abuse and painful recovery. The Salvation Army is incorporating imperative staff training to prevent all suicides and have a “Zero Suicide” plan in place by Sept. 23.

The training is provided by the Missouri Department of Mental Health, which has urged “Zero Suicide” adoption by state mental health facilities.

Training in how to care for suicidal guests includes updating procedures, posting information on safety action steps, and training all team members in QPR (suicide intervention). The goal is to create an environment in which anyone who needs help can feel comfortable expressing the need for support.

Part of preventing suicides comes from easing the transition between residential treatment and outpatient treatment. This is core to the mission of The Salvation Army’s Midtown Service and Treatment Center, which specializes in working with individuals in this population. Zero Suicide is the goal at Midtown.

The Zero Suicide plan includes warm introductions to outpatient staff, engagement telehealth calls between discharge and first face-to-face meeting, a review of crisis resources, and a discharge summary including dates and times of telehealth calls, Behavioral Health Response contact numbers, NA/AA resources and a chaplain contact.

Missouri Dept. of Mental Health data from 2015 to 2017 showed a 32% decrease in suicide deaths among clients of Community Behavioral Healthcare Providers trained in the adoption of Zero Suicide.

The Sept. 23 goal date of implementation coincides with September’s designation as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and National Recovery Month.

For more information about Midtown Service and Treatment Center, visit SalvationArmyMidtownSTC.org.

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