Zero Suicide Initiative: the importance of mental health during COVID-19

JACKSON, Wyo. — Mental health issues during this era of COVID-19 are more important than ever, and at St. John’s Health they are treated with the same concern and attention as physical health ailments.

“Now more than ever, the idea of our behavioral health program is to have a holistic approach when treating people,” said Lindsay Long, MSW, LCWS, behavioral health manager at St. John’s Health.

“We provide a wrap-around approach to care, so we aren’t just addressing patients’ physical symptoms, we’re helping with their emotional and mental health as well.”

The behavioral health program at St. John’s Health reaches out to those who may otherwise have their mental health needs overlooked. During the intake process, a nurse asks each Urgent Care and primary care patient three questions about depression and suicide, as part of the national initiative Zero Suicide.

“This process has opened the door to many conversations about people’s mental well-being,” said Long. “Recently, several patients said that they have never told anyone about their suicidal ideations and wouldn’t have if they hadn’t been directly asked that day.” Those patients were immediately guided to appropriate mental health services.

The licensed clinical social worker at Family Health & Urgent Care can meet with a patient directly following their in-person or telehealth appointment with a physician or other provider.

This warm, “hands-off” approach provides a safety net and helps people get connected right away to appropriate services. The social worker can also provide short-term counseling on topics ranging from stress to sleep to relationships.

The Mental Health Resource Line can be reached at (307) 203-7880 and will connect local residents with a licensed mental health professional. People experiencing a mental health emergency should call 911 or the Jackson Hole Community Counseling Center at (307) 733-2046.

More information about St. John’s Health’s participation in Zero Suicide along can be found HERE.

Photo: St. John’s Health

Sponsored by:

St John’s Health

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