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Article: Zero Suicide program has kickoff

Florida Parishes Human Services Authority held a Zero Suicide kickoff event on Nov. 5 at its headquarters in Hammond facilitated by Dr. April Foreman of the Executive Committee of the American Association of Suicidology.


The work group included team members from across the agency. Zero Suicide is the best practice framework for suicide prevention in health care systems and has been proven effective in reducing suicides in those systems that implement it, according to a news release.


The initiative is led by FPHSA Executive Director Richard J. Kramer and FPHSA’s Medical Director Dr. Schoener LaPrairie.


“The geographic area served by our agency, and indeed the very people that we treat, are at an increased risk for suicide," Kramer said. "It is critical that we use these evidence based measures to make a difference for them and save lives.”


Dr. April Foreman, one the nation’s leading experts in the field of suicidology, was brought in to facilitate the meeting and develop a strategic plan for implementation as she works with the agency throughout this process.


Also in attendance at the meeting was Louisiana State Rep. Reid Falconer, District 89. Representative Falconer, who introduced Act No. 450, 2018 Regular Session that provides for implementation of the zero suicide initiative and a state suicide prevention plan, said of FPHSA’s launch of the Zero Suicide initiative “I’m proud to have authored the legislation that launched the Zero Suicide Initiative in Louisiana, and am pleased to be part of its implementation beginning with the Florida Parishes Human Services Authority. I’m confident these unified efforts will lead to fewer suicide deaths and attempts, and will lead to healthier outcomes for all our communities.”


FPHSA’s leadership is driven to lead a systemwide culture change committed to reducing suicides; train a competent, confident and caring workforce; identify individuals with suicide risk with comprehensive screenings; engage all individuals at-risk of suicide using a suicide care management plan; treat suicidal thoughts using evidence-based treatments; transition individuals through care with warm handoffs and supportive contacts; and improve policies and procedures through continuous quality improvement.


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Article and photo were published by The Advocate: https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/communities/livingston_tangipahoa/article_2f59245a-e36c-11e8-b98a-73bbe294801f.html

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