As we all are well aware, children in our region and around the country are experiencing a mental health crisis. We have felt it acutely here at Le Bonheur and many of us have had thoughts about ways to advocate for change.
At Le Bonheur, we have an opportunity to build the system change we want to see as we continue to expand our mental health strategy and partnerships. We were one of 16 children’s hospitals in the country to receive Preventing Youth Suicide: A Cardinal Health Foundation National Collaborative grant from the Children's Hospital Association, Cardinal Health Foundation and the Zero Suicide Institute (ZSI) at the Education Development Center (EDC).
Le Bonheur’s program will be called Hope Journey. Over the next two years, we will engage with our entire Le Bonheur family to implement a system-wide transformation to better care for children who are at risk of suicide. We will pilot these efforts first in our Emergency Departments and inpatient units and then expand to outpatient and community settings.
We will begin our Hope Journey with a survey of Emergency Department and inpatient Associates to determine our knowledge and comfort levels of dealing with children at risk of suicide.
We are thrilled to be a part of the first national collaborative program intended to develop a pediatric-specific approach to address the youth mental health crisis and improve suicide care in children's hospitals by using data-backed strategies. This will help us tweak our current suicide prevention processes, support our Associates and ensure that we are doing what’s best for our patients and their families.