Georgia Crisis & Access Line 10 Years Later

2016-06-30_18-29-16It was late 2005. Inspired by the Single Point of Entry model and Behavioral Health Link’s work in Atlanta, Georgia’s behavioral health authority, or DMHDDAD as it was called at the time, put out a statewide bid for an access and crisis hotline and web-based internet service. Four national managed care companies showed up at the bidders’ conference. The BHL team was determined to take their good work to the next level and create the best crisis and access call system ever. But, they also realized the company’s continued existence depended on it! Read more

The Woman Card… Politics and Suicide Means in the US and China

2016-05-11_14-54-25In April, both candidates in the race for President of the United States talked about the “woman card.” Donald said the Democrats were playing it. Hillary replied passionately, “Deal me in.” The ensuing discussion ranged on important topics from equal pay to health care, but we must now add one more.

The tragic CNN headline appeared the same week of the events above: “Suicide rates up,
especially among women.” Read more

The Future is Already Here… Family Health Center of Harlem

IMG_3748Blimey! This was the initial one word response when the United Kingdom’s Norman Lamb and I toured the Institute for Family Health (IFH) Harlem Center in north Manhattan. A long-time member of parliament and prior Minister of Health, MP Norman Lamb is not easily impressed. His Liberal Democrats have pressed for the future in mental health, calling for parity since 2010, with the campaign, “No health without mental health.” The party also inspired a nationwide UK “Zero Suicide in Healthcare” dialogue in early 2015. Read more

Is Suicide Really a Choice?

Some things go without saying. Some things are so obvious. They are just the plain truth.

For example, I look in the mirror every morning and see a full, healthy head of hair. From my one person vantage point, it seems true. Occasionally, I’ll be in an elevator and catch a glimpse in a mirror looking down from above, and I’m like- hey, who’s that guy?!

Another example of what appears to be obvious. The earth is flat. Read more

Right now, what will keep you safe?

2016-02-19_15-26-30By guest blogger – Sue Ann Atkerson, LPC

I’m sitting in RI International’s third-ever ASIST training with eighteen employees from across our Arizona programs.   We don’t know what to expect, but our facilitators Mike Zeeb (pictured left) and Terrence Smithers quickly put us at ease:  not only are we going to learn how to confidently help a person at risk of suicide, but we are about to join the ranks of the more than 1,000,000 people who have been trained worldwide.  ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) is one of the most widely-used, evidence-based suicide intervention programs in the world. Read more

Pursuing an Ambitious New Zero Target in the UK

IMG_2554Clean, clear blue sky. I snapped this picture of the iconic London skyscraper known as the Shard last week, a rare one as it lacks the ubiquitous jam of black taxis, big red buses and cars crawling through the streets. But, it evokes what might be.

What would the UK capital look like if it ran on 100% clean energy? Recently, it became clear that London will in fact miss its first target for incremental improvement. The think-tank IPPR challenged mayoral candidates that it was time to get serious: Read more

A-10 Thunderbolts and Crisis: What Happens With Precision and Focus?

2016-01-28_20-32-08“Hey, look! It’s a pair of A-10 Thunderbolts!” The distinctive buzzing hum of the planes’ turbofan blades distinguished them as “Warthogs” well before I could make them out. The four of us stood in the parking lot of ConnectionsAZ Crisis Response Center and admired these marvels as they lined up in the sky above us for landing at Tucson’s nearby Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Read more

Defend the Alamo: Crisis Mental Health Care Must Be Transformed

shutterstock_9835540Vastly outnumbered. Ill equipped. Foraging for resources. The nation’s Emergency Departments are the Alamo of mental health access and care.

The recent headline was not surprising: “8 in 10 ER Docs Say Mental Health System Is Not Working for Patients.” The survey by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) of 32,000 physicians, residents and medical students working in hospital emergency departments concluded that Read more

The Bugs and the Bees: Mental Health Really Matters for All of Us

shutterstock_262155599As we kick off 2016, it’s time to sit down and have that awkward “bugs and bees” talk. We cannot put it off any longer. It’s time to explain why mental health really matters for all of us.

Business leaders are not unacquainted with the negative impact of mental health. In any given week, nearly half a million Canadians are unable to work due to mental health problems. Read more