AMHC News

AMHC Recognized for Suicide Prevention Efforts

AMHC was recently congratulated by both the Maine and Federal Centers for Disease Control for the agency’s work on an initiative referred to as Zero Suicide. A few of the staff members involved include (l to r): Sarah Wright, MHRT-CSP, Mobile Crisis Services Manager, Aroostook; Judith Feibus, LCSW, Quality Assurance Manager; and Michelle Ferris, LCSW, Director of Emergency Services.

Aroostook Mental Health Center (AMHC) recently received positive remarks by the Centers for Disease Control for its leadership in Suicide Prevention. AMHC is one of several organizations in five states that received a three-year grant to focus on suicide prevention efforts. Because one suicide is one too many, the initiative is called “Zero Suicide.”

AMHC has implemented a series of questions that its direct care staff are now required to ask clients. The questions have assisted in several ways:

  • Staff are more intentional about the issue of suicide among those individuals whom AMHC serves;
  • The questions asked help reduce the stigma associated with suicide;
  • Staff are more comfortable assessing for risk;
  • AMHC is able to collect data specific to suicide and learn from that data to help our clientele.

“We are so pleased to have the Maine CDC and Federal CDC recognize our work in suicide prevention,” said Michelle Ferris, Director of Emergency Services. “The CDC has indicated that the steps we have taken can have a significant impact on reducing suicide rates. I am proud of our staff in Aroostook, Washington and Hancock Counties and welcome the opportunity to share what we have done to help move this initiative forward.” For more information on “Zero Suicide,” please visit www.zerosuicide.com.

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