Why Suicide Prevention Is Part of Population Health Strategy

Paul B. Hofmann and Jerry Reed | Hospitals & Health Networks | May 9, 2016

The 10th Leading Cause of Death Deserves Attention, Resources.

As hospitals and health systems recognize the need to devote more time and attention to population health management and improving community health, more effort correspondingly must be focused on behavioral health services. In response, the American Hospital Association has launched an initiative to assist hospitals with behavioral health.

Of particular importance is the need to provide optimal care for patients at risk for suicide. Unfortunately, myths such as suicide not being preventable continue to impede health care providers from reducing preventable deaths even when evidence-based best practices and protocols for doing so are well known and replicable.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported based on 2014 data that nearly three times as many Americans die each year from suicide as from homicide. Moreover, while the homicide rate in the U.S. has fallen 50 percent since the early 1990s, the suicide rate is higher than it was 10 years ago...