Preventing suicide: OhioHealth launches program aimed at saving lives

Published:
Updated:

Your next doctor’s appointment will likely be about more than your blood pressure and body mass index; your primary care doctor is going to want to know what you’re thinking.

OhioHealth has launched a system-wide program aimed at what we hope will help bring that number down.

For about the past year, OhioHealth has been screening every patient, adolescent and older, for signs of depression. It’s part of an effort throughout the hospital system to address the rising rate of suicide.

Advertisement - Story continues below

Patients are walked through a nine-question ‘interview’ with a behavioral health specialist where signs of depression could be revealed.

The process is done in real time and if something is revealed or the specialist thinks counseling is advisable, an appointment is made.

In situations where someone is in crisis, they are connected with a behavioral health professional through OhioHealth’s tele-health video system.

OhioHealth administrators said the results have been promising so far. They’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 patients right now through a five-year, $15 million commitment made by OhioHealth.