The Retreat Model

In general, even when in great distress, people can be very wary of getting support in a crisis if it means overnight care in a facility. This Associated Press story from 1958 is an example of why…

AP Exclusive: Psychiatric Hospital Called “Hell:” “Behind tall brick walls and secure windows, hundreds of patients at the state’s largest psychiatric hospital live in conditions that fail US health and safety standards. ‘Going there was like going to hell…'” Read more

#AAS19 in Denver and… Both/And

It’s been almost 20 years since the presidential election photo finish in Florida: Exactly half voted for George Bush and the other half preferred Al Gore. The fiasco of counting chads did not dissuade us from looking at populations and simplifying our world by collapsing them into two groups. It’s the zeitgeist, now more than ever. I’m generally dubious. It just seems to me that we’re much more alike than we’re different.

But after reading each of the 525 responses to our #AAS18 Washington DC post-conference survey, I think maybe I’m finally convinced! Read more

AAS Goes to Washington

2017-11-16_14-42-24It’s been 30 years since the American Association of Suicidology last met in our nation’s capital. The average cost of a new house was $91,600, a gallon of gas cost 91 cents, Don’t Worry Be Happy was moving up the music charts and there was not yet a national strategy for suicide prevention. In fact, it would be another decade before Surgeon General David Satcher would name suicide as a serious public health problem. We had not yet begun the first Gulf War; which would lead to a focus of our military on our troops and veterans. It was a different time. Read more

A Huge Step Forward

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban DevelopmentYesterday was the inaugural meeting of the federal Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC). While the acronym is a mouthful, the meeting is an important step to better health and quality of life to members of our community with the most significant needs; individuals with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder. Health and Human Services (HHS) has prioritized mental health alongside two other top priorities: opioid abuse and childhood obesity. Read more

Returning to the Why in Behavioral Healthcare

shutterstock_288740330The most important question is always why. So, why do we do what we do in behavioral healthcare? Put simply, we seek to equip individuals with serious mental illness to live happy, healthy, productive, and connected lives.

On Thursday, August 31, 2017, the 21st Century Cures Act takes a very important step forward with the inaugural meeting of the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC). Read more

The Evidence is Already In… The Case for Zero Suicide in Healthcare

IMG_0314With co-author – Dr. Michael Hogan

“Is it rational to pursue zero suicide among patients in healthcare?” This is the question posed by Dr. Jan Mokkenstorm and colleagues in Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior Journal (in press) as they address objections that the science and published results aren’t yet in.

The US National Institute of Mental Health has just awarded a 5-year grant to Henry Ford Health System to evaluate an implementation of Zero Suicide across most of the Kaiser Permanente health system. Read more

Honoring the Past and Innovating the Future in Phoenix 2017 (AAS)

2017-04-25_18-25-28In April, Phoenix is proud to host the 50th annual conference of the American Association of Suicidology. The theme is Honoring the Past and Innovating for the Future, and nearly 1,500 leaders from around the country will convene at the Hyatt Regency to network and share. They will be researchers, healthcare workforce, crisis services staff, family and friends of someone who died of suicide, and individuals with a lived experience of surviving a suicide attempt. Read more