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FPHSA News

Zero Suicide Kickoff Event

November 5, 2018

Rebecca Soley 33

Florida Parishes Human Services Authority (FPHSA) held a Zero Suicide kickoff event on November 5th at their headquarters in Hammond facilitated by Dr. April Foreman of the Executive Committee of the American Association of Suicidology. They convened a workgroup comprised of team members from across the agency. Zero Suicide is the best practice framework for suicide prevention in healthcare systems and has been proven effective in reducing suicides in those systems that imple...ment it. This initiative is led by FPHSA Executive Director, Richard J. Kramer and FPHSA’s Medical Director, Dr. Schoener LaPrairie. Mr. Kramer stated that “The geographic area served by our agency, and indeed the very people that we treat, are at an increased risk for suicide. 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. “It was impressive to see the commitment to Zero Suicide by Dr. LaPrairie and the rest of the staff at FPHSA. It is a privilege to work with leaders in this community to bring the gold standards mental health care to the region.” said Dr. Foreman.

Also in attendance at the meeting was Louisiana State Representative 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 system-wide culture change committed to reducing suicides; training a competent, confident, and caring workforce; identifying individuals with suicide risk with comprehensive screenings; engaging all individuals at-risk of suicide using a suicide care management plan; treating suicidal thoughts using evidence-based treatments; transitioning individuals through care with warm hand-offs and supportive contacts; and improving policies and procedures through continuous quality improvement.

Pictured left to right are Dr. Schoener LaPrairie, MD, FPHSA Medical Director; Reid Falconer, Louisiana State Representative- District 89; Dr. April Foreman, Ph.D., L.P., Executive Committee of the American Association of Suicidology; Richard J. Kramer, FPHSA Executive Director.

FPHSA Partners With Local Agencies to Bring Mental Health First Aid Training Certification Course to First Responders

Rebecca Soley 72

Florida Parishes Human Services Authority (FPHSA) partnered with National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) - St. Tammany, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office, and Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office to facilitate a five-day Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) for Public Safety Train the Trainer certification course for local sheriff’s offices, police departments,

Bogalusa Police Department Equipped with Narcan

Rebecca Soley 102

Florida Parishes Human Services Authority (FPHSA) partnered with the Bogalusa Police Department in our efforts to save lives from opioid overdoses. FPHSA Executive Director, Richard J. Kramer, and Ms. Danielle Keys, FPHSA Governing Board Vice Chair representing Washington Parish, provided Chief Bullen and Major Knight with NARCAN nasal spray as part of the effort to reduce overdose deaths in our region. FPHSA is spreading awareness and making Narcan easily accessible to the public and our local law enforcement agencies and emergency responders to combat opioid related deaths.

FPHSA launched an overdose prevention campaign in April that includes working to increase the availability of this life-saving medication as well as increases access to treatment for substance use disorders with the five Florida Parishes. This initiative is in response to the continued rise of opioid-related overdoses and the increase in accidental exposure to law enforcement. The doses are in the form of a nasal spray and can be administered in known or suspected opioid overdose cases or in the event that an individual is accidentally exposed. Narcan can’t be used to get high and it is safe to use on anyone because it’s only action on the body is to temporarily reverse the effect of an Opioid overdose, stabilizing the individual until EMS can arrive.

Funding for this campaign was made available as part of the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Epidemic. Narcan kits are now available at all FPHSA outpatient clinics at no cost to both clients and their family members who do not have insurance. Please speak to one of FPHSA’s nurses or counselors to request your Narcan kit or call Heather Gernold or one of “STR Peer Support Specialist” at 985-543-4730.

Franklinton Police Department Equipped with Narcan

Rebecca Soley 63

Florida Parishes Human Services Authority (FPHSA) partnered with the Franklinton Police Department in our efforts to save lives from opioid overdose. FPHSA provided Police Chief Olander Smith and his officers with NARCAN nasal spray as part of the effort to reduce overdose deaths in our region. FPHSA is spreading awareness and making Narcan easily accessible to the public and our local law enforcement agencies and emergency responders to combat opioid related deaths.

FPHSA launched an overdose prevention campaign in April that includes working to increase the availability of this life-saving medication as well as increases access to treatment for substance use disorders with the five Florida Parishes. This initiative is in response to the continued rise of opioid-related overdoses and the increase in accidental exposure to law enforcement. The doses are in the form of a nasal spray and can be administered in known or suspected opioid overdose cases or in the event that an individual is accidentally exposed. Narcan can’t be used to get high and it is safe to use on anyone because it’s only action on the body is to temporarily reverse the effect of an Opioid overdose, stabilizing the individual until EMS can arrive.

Funding for this campaign was made available as part of the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Epidemic. Narcan kits are now available at all FPHSA outpatient clinics at no cost to both clients and their family members who do not have insurance. Please speak to one of FPHSA’s nurses or counselors to request your Narcan kit or call Heather Gernold or one of “STR Peer Support Specialist” at 985-543-4730.

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