The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) today released the latest issue of Positive Approaches Journal, which aims to provide the latest research and resources for people with mental health and behavioral challenges, intellectual disabilities, autism, and other developmental disabilities to live everyday lives. This edition focuses on recent research on suicide risk and prevention and highlights relevant work being done across the Commonwealth to reduce the incidence of suicide.
“DHS is working to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have the services and supports they need, especially access to care, which is critical in the fight to prevent suicides. By providing resources and directing help to those who need it, we can save lives,” said DHS Secretary Dr. Val Arkosh. “We hope this edition of Positive Approaches Journal will provide more information to improve the lives of Pennsylvanians.”
The journal is a collaboration of DHS’ Office of Developmental Programs and Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and collects resources, observations, and advances in mental health and behavior to better serve people in their communities.
This edition features research and articles on the following:
- Data Findings: This article discusses the implementation of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, how the lifeline can help people in crisis, and resources available for those with a dual diagnosis of autism or intellectual disabilities and health issues. mentally.
- Unintentional damage is still harmful. This article talks about how suicidal thoughts or a mental health crisis can be different for autistic people and encourages health professionals to meet them where they are as individuals. have their own needs.
- From Suicidal Youth to Youth Work Suicide Prevention: An Outline of the Pennsylvania Garrett Lee Smith Grant: This article discusses the five-year Pennsylvania Youth Resource for Continuity of Care in Youth Serving Systems and Transitions project and how researchers are working with Pennsylvania counties to ensure continuity of care systems for youth and adolescents at risk of suicide.
- The Power of Ownership: How to Create Supportive Learning Environments That Reduce Suicide Risk This article highlights the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Office for Safe Schools and its work with school communities and vested partners to develop and sustain equitable trauma-informed learning environments that promote and support the well-being of all students and staff.
- Suicide, Self-Harm, and Risk-Taking: The Tragic Dangers Social Media Poses to Children This article from the Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance discusses what parents and families can do to ensure their children stay safe, healthy, and protected in this digital age.
- Alone: Suicide Prevention at the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections: In response to recent clusters of suicides within Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PDOC) facilities, this article reviews data on suicides within correctional facilities and outlines several reform efforts. PDOC suicide prevention.
- Several health care system interventions are needed to reduce veteran suicide rates. This article discusses the higher-than-average suicide rate among veterans and details evidence-based prevention methods and interventions that can help save veterans’ lives.
- The Gatekeeper’s Role in Reducing Veteran Suicide: This article outlines a program at the University of Pittsburgh that aims to reduce veteran suicide by pairing veterans with gatekeepers—individuals who can recognize a crisis and the warning signs of a crisis. person who may be thinking about suicide.
- Recent Research Points to a Clear Conclusion: Autistic People Think About and Die by Suicide at a High Price: This article outlines recent research showing that people with autism are more likely to die by suicide and outlines priorities for research and government efforts to combat this.
If you or someone you know needs help, please call or text the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 or visit 988lifeline.org and click the chat button.
From Nation World, December 14, 2023