United Way of Broward County and more than 50 community partners have teamed together to adopt the Zero Suicide framework for suicide prevention in Broward County. By using this method created by The Zero Suicide Institute, it will provide expert consultation and guidance to health and behavioral health care organizations. Organizations adopting this framework will now gain crucial experience and tools needed to significantly reduce the suicide rates.
On September 10, 2020, The Broward Suicide Prevention Coalition, which is spearheaded by United Way of Broward County and supported by Broward Behavioral Health Coalition, organized a virtual educational training seminar on the Zero Suicide approach. During the seminar, the Coalition expressed the need for a system-wide movement in Broward County to more than 250 individuals in attendance.
There are more than 50 community partners participating as volunteers in the Coalition, including 211 Broward, Broward County, Broward County Public Schools, Broward Sheriff’s Office, Children’s Services Council of Broward County, Florida Department of Children and Families, Florida Initiative for Suicide Prevention, Henderson Behavioral Health and Memorial Healthcare Systems.
In 2019, 235 people in Broward County died by suicide. Adopting the Zero Suicide framework fills the gaps that patients at risk for suicide often fall through using evidence-based tools, systematic practices, training, and embedded workflows.
“Adopting the Zero Suicide approach county-wide will allow all Broward County agencies to have access to helpful resources, training, and support” said Lois Simpson, M.S., Director of Suicide Prevention and Wellness Initiatives at United Way of Broward County. “We believe that suicide is preventable and suicidality is treatable. The Zero Suicide Broward initiative will encourage providers to identify areas of improvement for suicide prevention, intervention, treatment and post-vention services. This means that all Broward residents will have access to the highest level of care. Our goal is to reduce risks for suicide and bring the Broward County suicide rate down as close to zero as possible.”
The Broward Suicide Prevention Coalition encourages every provider in Broward County to take the following action steps:
- Review the Quick Guide to Getting Started with Zero Suicide and follow the steps to create a personalized action plan for your agency or program. Downloadable here: https://zerosuicide.edc.org/resources/quick-guide-getting-started-zero-suicide
- Update your provider profile with 211 Broward to ensure your suicide care services are accurate and accessible at www.211-broward.org
- Complete or update your Zero Suicide Organizational Self-Study by December 2020. Self-Study can be viewed here: https://zerosuicide.edc.org/organizational-self-study
- Participate in the survey to share your self-study findings (Survey will be sent out towards the end of the year. Contact Lois Simpson to be added to mailing list.)
Individuals can join the Coalition by volunteering for workgroups in various areas including Communications, Data, Educators Collaborative, Lethal Means, Resources or Suicide Response. To get involved, please contact Lois Simpson at [email protected].
Agencies can get involved by following the Zero Suicide Framework. More info and free trainings and resources can be found at: https://zerosuicide.edc.org/ and http://www.zerosuicideinstitute.com/.
The Broward Suicide Prevention Coalition plans to host community trainings in the future and will provide technical support for local providers wishing to become Zero Suicide competent.