The New Mexico Suicide Prevention Coalition is aware that the healthcare system, via various levels of involvement and support, plays a critical role in preventing suicide.
Education and Awareness: Healthcare providers and organizations raise awareness about the signs of suicide, risk factors, and available resources to the general public.
Screening: Primary care doctors, school counselors, and other healthcare professionals conduct routine screenings for mental health concerns, including suicidal thoughts, to identify individuals at risk.
Identification: Healthcare providers, educators, and even community members are trained to recognize signs of distress and suicidal ideation in individuals and refer them to appropriate services.
Access to Mental Health Care: The healthcare system facilitates access to mental health services, therapy, counseling, and medications for individuals in need.
Emergency Care: Hospitals and emergency departments are equipped to handle individuals in acute crisis, providing immediate care and stabilization.
Crisis Helplines: Healthcare systems often have crisis hotlines or collaborate with national helplines to offer immediate support to individuals in distress.
Treatment and Management:
Psychiatric Care: Individuals identified as at risk of suicide may receive specialized psychiatric care, therapy, and medication management.
Supportive Therapies: Behavioral therapies, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and other evidence-based treatments are provided to help manage suicidal ideation and underlying mental health conditions.
Collaboration and Continuity of Care:
Multi-Disciplinary Teams: Healthcare professionals collaborate with mental health specialists, social workers, and community organizations to create comprehensive treatment plans.
Follow-Up: After a crisis, individuals are often provided with follow-up care to ensure their well-being and continued support.
Outreach and Public Health Initiatives:
Community Programs: Healthcare systems engage in community-based initiatives to promote mental health awareness, educate individuals, and reduce stigma.
School Programs: Collaborations with schools aim to provide students and educators with tools to recognize and respond to mental health concerns.
Research and Policy Advocacy:
Data Collection: Healthcare systems contribute to collecting data on suicide rates, risk factors, and outcomes, which helps inform prevention strategies.
Policy Development: Healthcare organizations advocate for policies that support mental health services, increase access to care, and improve mental health parity.
Grief Counseling: Healthcare systems offer support to families and communities affected by a suicide loss, helping them cope with the aftermath.
Preventing Contagion: Healthcare professionals work to prevent "suicide contagion"; by providing guidance on responsible media reporting and messaging after a suicide.
By addressing suicide prevention at various levels and collaborating with mental health professionals, communities, and policymakers, the healthcare system plays a pivotal role in reducing the incidence of suicide and promoting mental well-being.