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Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center receives $75,000 to prevent suicide

Every six hours, a person in Michigan dies from suicide.
Published: May. 3, 2021 at 3:08 PM EDT
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CALUMET, Mich. (WLUC) - Every six hours, a person in Michigan dies from suicide.

“Between 2014 and 2018, over 7,000 individuals committed suicide in the state of Michigan,” according to Audrey Harvey from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation.

It’s the second leading cause of death among Michigan youth.

That’s why Blue Cross Blue Shield and four partners started a new suicide prevention initiative, by donating $650,000 to nine Michigan health care clinics.

Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center in Calumet is receiving $75,000, which will help it implement the Zero Suicide curriculum.

“The way we plan on using it, and again, have started using it, is training from the frontlines to what I call out the back door,” UGL Behavior Health Program Manager Brian Foreman said.

When a patient comes in with mental health concerns and/or the risk of suicide, every health care worker the patient interacts with will be told, Foreman said.

“The minute there is a suspicion and/or concern, that everyone from the frontline to the person checking them out knows.”

The means the health center will be able to help an at-risk patient get the appropriate help they need.

“It’s not so much a hand off to another provider, but for us to do the complete follow-through and Zero Suicide is just that. Their goal is zero suicide and that’s why we chose it.”

Foreman said this program will enhance and expand all the health center has to offer.

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