Agnesian HealthCare to join Wisconsin Perfect Depression Care Learning Community
Fond du Lac County’s suicide rate is higher than the rate for the state of Wisconsin. Seventeen residents took their own life in 2011. It’s with those statistics in mind that the Fond du Lac Healthy 2020 steering committee has set a goal that suicides in Fond du Lac County will decline to 12or fewer annually.
A recent grant award given to Agnesian HealthCare proves this collaboration is working. It is due to the support of local Fond du Lac leaders that Agnesian HealthCare was selected as one of five state organizations to be a part of the 2014 Perfect Depression Learning Community.
The learning community - through Mental Health America of Wisconsin (MHA) is possible through a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services/Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. Grant money will help to implement the Perfect Depression Care model developed by Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) Division of Behavioral Health Services.
This model, which resulted in significant reductions in suicides among enrollees in HFHS, was a key focus of a report by the National Action Alliance on Suicide Prevention’s Clinical Care and Intervention Task Force at http://actionallianceforsuicideprevention.org.
Perfect Depression Care is part of an initiative known as “zero suicide in healthcare” that seeks to use clinical and cultural forces to shift the healthcare system’s focus from “if we can save just one life, it will be worth it” to a much bolder vision: a goal of zero suicides within “boundaried populations,” such as a mental health clinic, community-based mental health program or health maintenance organization. The web site www.zerosuicide.com is a repository of “zero suicide” tools and techniques.
“We are excited about this grant opportunity because it allows us as an organization to participate in a learning community where the goal is zero suicides,” according to Jim Salasek, PhD, director of Agnesian HealthCare’s Behavioral Health Services. “We are committed to this goal across our service agencies and providers.”
The Perfect Depression model will be implemented at Agnesian HealthCare’s Psychiatric Associates in Beaver Dam and Agnesian HealthCare’s Doll & Associates. As a result, two associates - Krystle Schmitz and Miranda Amerling - will attend training and seminars on how to best implement the model. From there, the model will be expanded to all Behavioral Health Services.
“It was through Agnesian HealthCare’s community partnerships that we were able to put together our grant proposal,” Salasek says. “Agnesian HealthCare’s support of Fond du Lac County’s Healthy 2020 Mental Health initiative has allowed us to collaborate with a network of agencies and providers that are working together on a variety of mental health goals, including reducing suicide.”
Efforts were supported by Drs. Janet McCord and Tonya Hameister, with Marian University, who helped with the grant proposal, along with data and support from Marian Sheridan and Christie Reese, Fond du Lac Area YScreen program and Comprehensive Service Integration (CSI).
“Suicide prevention takes a coordinated effort across all aspects of a community,” Salasek adds. “Our community is blessed with the talent and determination of a variety of professionals and organizations that are all pulling together for this common goal.”
To learn more about Fond du Lac County’s Healthy 2020 Mental Health initiative, visit livingwellfdl.org.