Health Is Vital

Health is taken for granted, until you can't any more. In this blog I hope to put down on paper some of the articles I come across and want to remember, about health. I will be personalizing these articles to apply to me. I am diabetic, over weight, have high blood pressure and tinnitus, so these are the things you will find here. I will include nutrition, exercise, and holistic health, and many other ideas. I work in the health profession, particularly mental health, and have an interest in suicide prevention; so these topics will also be covered in this blog. Please, if you are suffering reach out. Our county health and crisis line is 1-855-278-4204.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

**National Strategy for Suicide Prevention: Goals and Objectives 2001

I am looking at some National goals 12 years after the fact.  The goals and objectives were redone in 2012.
Goal #1  Promote awareness that suicide is a public health problem that is preventable.
One of the objectives for this goal is increase the number of public service campaigns.  Outside of the mental health community, I am not sure how effective we have been in this area.
Goal 2: Develop Broad-based Support for Suicide Prevention
One objective here is to increase public/private collaboration.  Another objective is to integrate suicide prevention in professional and other groups.  I know it is a big part of education and licensure for social workers and other help professions.
Goal 3: Develop and Implement Strategies to Reduce the Stigma Associated with Being a Consumer of Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Suicide Prevention Services.
There has been a slow push for parity with medical insurances with regards to treatment of behavioral health being equal to physical health.  The only great push in this area that I have noticed was the discourse of Elder Holland at the last conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Goal 4: Develop and Implement Community-Based Suicide Prevention Programs  As a result of this goal we now have a national suicide hotline, which is actually answered locally in most cases.  Many of the local hotlines have gone through a national certification to be included.  1-800-273-2855
Goal 5:  Promote Efforts to Reduce Access to Lethal Means and Methods of Self-Harm This objective could be alarming to gun rights advocates, but reduced access does not necessarily mean gun control.  This area should include better safety measures, and ways to keep guns safe.  Also included are proper disposal of medications and manufacturing cars in such a way as to make carbon monoxide poisoning more difficult.
Goal 6: Implement Training for Recognition of At-Risk Behavior and Delivery of Effective Treatment
  There is a campaign among the professional community to recognize at-risk signs.  This is spilling over into the population in general.
Goal 7: Develop and Promote Effective Clinical and Professional Practices 
Goal 8:  Increase Access to and Community Linkages with Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services  This is a tricky area which is influenced by budgets, and most often budget cuts recently.
Goal 9: Improve Reporting and Portrayals of Suicidal Behavior, Mental Illness, and Substance Abuse in the Entertainment and News Media  I do not know how to judge the media, but for myself I have seen no change
Goal 10: Promote and Support Research on Suicide and Suicide Prevention
This is an area which is slowly developing
Goal 11: Improve and Expand Surveillance Systems
This sounds scary, but I th ink they are hoping for better reporting of suicide so numbers will be more accurate.  This includes investigation of all deaths which may be attributable to suicide or other violent causes.
The biggest judge of the effectiveness of what we are doing would be by adecrease in suicides.  However the opposite has been true, a slight increase.  You can argue the increase could have been more, or that we are more aware of and report suicide more often, but the bottom line is to this point there has not been a decrease in suicides. 

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