This month marks a very important day to many in the mental health world; professionals, clients and families. The 17th of November marks the annual International Suicide Survivor’s day, a day that is meant to serve as an empowering symbol to all those who have survived an encounter with suicide, as well as those who may be contemplating it.
Suicide and contemplation is a serious problem that affects millions of people each year. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that it is the 13th leading cause of death worldwide and the National Safety Council rates it sixth in the United States. It is a leading cause of death among teenagers and adults under 35. Not only does suicide extinguish the life of the individual who commits suicide, but it affects family and friends who know that individual. Often times those who are left behind can become the victims as well; a spouse who now has to raise children by his or her self, a child who is lacking an important figure in their lives and many other similar situations. The worst part of it is, suicide is often preventable and can occur because of a buildup of strong momentary stressors in a person’s life. This is one of the reasons why days such as International Suicide Survivor’s day are so important in the field of mental health, they remind people, professionals and those suffering alike, that suicide doesn’t have to be the end of a story; it can be the beginning.
Taking Suicide Seriously
Here at Sovereign Health, we believe that making sure that we understand our patients’ relationship to suicide and to the factors that underlie suicidal behavior. To this end, Sovereign Health, under a recommendation from the Joint Commission, has decided to adopt a new approach to suicide screening. Recently Sovereign Health has adopted a new, positive method for screening for suicidal tendencies and behavior, using the Reasons for Living Scale (RLS), developed by Marsha Linehan, PhD. Dr. Linehan, who has had a vast and deep career in dealing with Borderline Personality Disorder and Suicide, developed the RLS as a means to see what positive factors a client may or may not have to mitigate suicidal behaviors. The RLS asks clients about their desire to live, family relationship, spiritual beliefs and many other factors that affect suicidal behavior. Not simply relying on the old method of identifying past suicidal thoughts and attempts, Sovereign Health hopes to take a broader perspective on suicide that will not only help our clinical team, but the clients as well realize what strengths and support they may have in fighting off suicidality.
Please visit Sovereign Health’s website to learn more about our treatment programs for Dual Diagnosis, Addiction, Primary Mental Health, and Eating Disorders conditions. prod.sovcal.com
Listen to a first hand account from Gilberto about his mental health treatment: