Creating hope through action on World Suicide Prevention Day

This Saturday marks the annually recognized World Suicide Prevention Day, organized by the International Association for Suicide Prevention and endorsed by the World Health Organization. This day is critical to recognize, as we know that an estimated 703,000 people globally die by suicide each year. In keeping with this year’s theme, “Creating hope through action,” I wanted to reflect for a moment on the work we at Holmusk undertake with our partner NHS Trusts year-round to address this urgent matter.

We know that mental health services are at a crisis point. With so many service users who require support from mental health services at the same time, it can be difficult for providers to manage their caseloads and prioritize care delivery. In many cases, these busy schedules can lead to staff burnout and subsequent workforce challenges. These problems, and the desire to help both mental health providers and service users, led us to develop Management and Supervision Tool (MaST).

MaST is the main tool in our portfolio that helps us with support mental health providers allocate appropriate resources to suicide prevention pathways. The tool, which displays data visualizations to help clinicians make data-driven decisions, using a Risk-of-Crisis algorithm that can help to determine which service users are at highest risk of mental health crisis. The algorithm has been found to be effective, identifying an average of 72% of mental health crises as high risk in advance.

How can MaST help in daily care delivery? Busy mental health teams can’t see all things at all times, and MaST provides data-driven insights to support decision making and identifies people who might need more specialized and acute care. This predictive capability enables providers to focus on proactive care—and ultimately supports them as they work toward the prevention of mental health crises.

MaST has now successfully been implemented at eight NHS Mental Health Trusts, and its use as part of a wider community mental health transformation initiative has been shown to reduce rates of mental health crises, as well as shorten length of hospital stays.

MaST helps providers to ensure that service users receive the right care at the right time. This specialized care delivery requires leaders in mental healthcare to be committed to change, as well as the development of new integrated services to respond to the needs of the neighbourhoods they serve. Data, when combined with great leadership, can save lives. Our partners at the NHS have shown this leadership by committing to community mental health transformation, as well as the implementation of MaST. MaST has enabled providers to take action, giving mental health teams the insights they need to provide better and safer care. On this World Suicide Prevention Day, we remember those who have been impacted by suicide—and we continue take action, and call on leaders to take action, in response to this most important challenge.

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