OhioHealth Develops Program Aimed at Reducing Suicides
10TV Looks at Depression Screening Program in the Primary Care Office
More than 120 suicides happen each day in our country and many are preventable, especially if the subtle signs of depression are caught early.
At OhioHealth, a 10-hospital, not-for-profit healthcare system based in Columbus, we have launched a system-wide program that we hope will help bring that number down.
Last November, we began screening every patient, adolescent and older, who walks into our primary care offices for depression. Using a simple, but effective, nine-question tool that helps flag signs of depression, a behavioral health specialist sits with the patient and “interviews” them prior to the patient going in for their appointment with the primary care physician.
If something doesn’t “feel” right and counseling is advised, we make an appointment for them. If the situation is advanced and critical, we connect them with a behavioral health professional, right then and there, through our telehealth video system.
The hope, of course, is to intervene early and in real-time, identify the problems and prevent another person from taking their own life. The results have been promising.
So far, we’ve screened nearly 700 patients, made dozens of referrals and helped many get back on their feet.
All of the services are free of charge to our patients right now thanks to a five-year, $15 million commitment OhioHealth made in order to fulfill our mission to the communities we serve.