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Rebecca Soley
/ Categories: News

Zero Suicide Kickoff Event

November 5, 2018

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.

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