17% of Colorado high schoolers have seriously considered attempting suicide in the last 12 months. Schools are uniquely positioned to address social and emotional needs of students, but are challenged by limited resources and confidence to provide appropriate support. Through training and technical assistance, PCMH aims to help Colorado high schools increase their capacity to effectively identify, intervene, and support students at risk for suicide. PCMH is partnering with the school community to create sustainable and feasible suicide prevention protocols, structures, and strategies that are embedded in existing school practices.
Youth Suicide Prevention in Schools
Youth Suicide Prevention in Pediatric Primary Care
More than 80% of youth who die by suicide have seen their primary care provider within a year of their death, 60% within a month. This indicates a significant opportunity to better equip providers with the knowledge and resources to identify and treat warning signs. PCMH is coordinating with national, state, and local thought leaders to create a suicide prevention strategy that includes the evidence-based Zero Suicide model and a pediatric care pathway focused on universal suicide screening of all pediatric patients. As part of this work, PCMH partnered with the Zero Suicide Institute to host a first-of-its-kind Zero Suicide Academy focused on youth suicide prevention in primary care.
Children’s Mental Health Service Array Assessment
In collaboration with the Office of Behavioral Health, PCMH has developed a report on the children’s mental health service array across Colorado based on surveys and focus groups with both providers and families. The findings are integrated into a comprehensive database of Colorado’s children’s mental health service providers and displayed on an interactive map, which is accessible to providers, family members, policymakers, and others seeking access to mental health services.
Trauma Responsive Care Training
PCMH has developed eight trauma responsive care training modules and is currently piloting them. So far, we’ve trained over 300 members of Colorado’s clinical workforce in trauma-informed practices and are working to integrate the curriculum into the Cross Systems Training Institute for wide dissemination. In addition, PCMH is collaborating with Project ECHO to facilitate ECHO series sessions designed for mental health clinicians who work with children, youth, and adults with dual diagnoses of both intellectual/developmental disabilities and mental health challenges.
Tiered Care Coordination
PCMH is contributing to a robust, cross-system workgroup focused on creating a standardized mental health assessment tool for the first time in Colorado. Convened by the Office of Behavioral Health, the workgroup is using the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) tool to develop and implement a tiered care coordination model that uses a systematic, data-driven, and family-centered approach to determine the intensity of care and level of coordination needed for each individual. PCMH will also support statewide training for all child-serving professionals who will use the CANS tool.