Pew, EDC’s Zero Suicide Institute Launch New Suicide Care Initiative in Hospitals

Collaborative network aims to build momentum for scaling proven suicide prevention practices nationwide

EDC's Zero Suicide Institute Launch New Suicide Care Initiative

PHILADELPHIA—Suicide is a serious public health problem in the U.S., claiming around 48,000 lives in 2021. A new, nationwide network of hospitals will test methods to detect suicide risk and connect patients to care in a collaboration with The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Education Development Center’s (EDC's) Zero Suicide Institute.

Research has shown that nearly half of people who die by suicide interact with the health care system in the month before their death, suggesting a key opportunity to intervene. The new initiative—called the Suicide Care Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN)—aims to improve suicide prevention and treatment practices by transforming the way hospitals identify and care for at-risk patients. Guided by Zero Suicide Institute’s expertise and technical assistance, participating hospitals will collaboratively learn and share information to improve comprehensive screening and assessment, increase use of suicide care management plans, and provide evidence-informed interventions to patients experiencing suicide risk.

“Hospitals can play a pivotal role in identifying people at risk for suicide and connecting them to lifesaving care. This collaborative network is designed to give health care providers the tools, the expertise, and the confidence to do so,” said Kristen Mizzi Angelone, director of Pew’s suicide risk reduction project. “We hope this initiative will demonstrate that hospitals of all shapes and sizes can expand and enhance their suicide care practices and that this network will serve as an example to help other hospitals across the country realize they can do the same.”

Over the next 14 months, participating hospitals will test and measure numerous suicide care interventions—all recommended by a team of national suicide and health care experts—and share their experiences with fellow participants to accelerate learning and adoption of successful practices. This approach is based on the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Breakthrough Series Collaborative model, designed to help health care systems achieve rapid quality improvements through collaboration.

“The experience and skills of all participants is what speeds the transfer of research-informed interventions into practice,” said Julie Goldstein Grumet, vice president for suicide prevention strategy at EDC, senior health care adviser to the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, and director of the Zero Suicide Institute. “With the Zero Suicide Institute, the participants will test, implement, refine, and scale up innovations to improve the care provided to patients at risk of suicide in health care settings.”

Participants include:

  • Trinity Health—Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Community Health Network—Indianapolis, Indiana
  • SC Department of Mental Health Division of Inpatient Services—Columbia, South Carolina
  • Cambridge Health Alliance—Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Mennonite Health System—Puerto Rico
  • Trinity Health—Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Compass Health Network Royal Oaks Hospital—Windsor, Missouri
  • Thomas Jefferson University Hospital—Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Learn more about the initiative.

About Pew

Celebrating its 75th anniversary, The Pew Charitable Trusts uses data to make a difference. Pew addresses the challenges of a changing world by illuminating issues, creating common ground, and advancing ambitious projects that lead to tangible progress.

About EDC’s Zero Suicide Institute

Education Development Center’s Zero Suicide Institute guides organizations and professionals through transformational change toward safer suicide care. Zero Suicide is a continuous quality improvement framework for health and behavioral health care systems. Zero Suicide presents an aspirational challenge—to eliminate suicide—through systemwide transformation toward safer and more effective suicide care. Health care systems, federal and state agencies, and more come to Zero Suicide Institute for training, consultation, and technical assistance in implementing system- and provider-level changes to improve suicide care.

For more information, visit ZeroSuicideInstitute.com.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call or text the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 or visit 988lifeline.org and click on the chat button.

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Health Care Providers Join New Suicide Prevention Initiative

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Suicide is a serious public health problem, claiming more than 48,000 lives in the U.S. in 2021. Research shows that nearly half of individuals who die by suicide interacted with the health care system in the month before their death. This signals an opportunity for health care providers to identify individuals experiencing suicide risk and connect them to appropriate care, but not all health settings have the knowledge and resources to implement best practices.

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