OhioHealth Program Designed to Identify Depression Early and Prevent Suicides
Behavioral Health Associates Screening Every Patient Who Walks Through the Door
With depression rates and suicide rates climbing, OhioHealth launched a program this past November aimed at identifying the warning signs of depression as early as possible so that steps could be taken to prevent it from turning into something even worse, suicide.
To do this, OhioHealth embedded behavioral health specialists in their primary care offices, full-time, who screen every patient who walks through the door at least once a year, more often if necessary.
They use a nine-question screening tool which asks the patient how they are feeling, i.e., do you feel sad, do you feel safe, do you have suicidal thoughts, etc.
The specialist then talks with them about their responses and briefs the primary care physician before they go in for his or her scheduled appointment.
If a more advanced psychological consult is needed, staff can schedule appointments for the patients with counselors or, if there is an urgent need, can connect them immediately with a counselor via our telemedicine system.
Since it was launched in November of last year, more than 600 patients have been screened and many near-crises averted.
OhioHealth has committed $15 million to this, and other behavioral health programs and patients are NOT charged for the service.
Click on the logo to read the front page story about the program in The Columbus Dispatch.
OhioHealth has also produced a video that explains how it works and shows what kind of an impact it can have on people’s lives. Please click here to watch.