Suicide Prevention Week

  • September 2, 2015

Suicide Prevention Week –

National Suicide Prevention Week is the Monday through Sunday surrounding World Suicide Prevention Day, which is held on September 10. According to Mental Health America, about 30,000 Americans die from suicide and 500,000 Americans attempt suicide yearly. When an individual is depressed, he or she may think about suicide. Some are passively suicidal, with thoughts such as “I wish I would wake up dead.” Those who are actively suicidal might start to make a plan to die, and find means of killing themselves. Signs can include a depressed mood most of the day every day, isolation, lack of interest or pleasure in almost every day activities, weight loss or gain, insomnia or sleeping too much, psychomotor agitation or slowing down, feelings of worthlessness, and difficulty in concentrating and decision making. At Whittier Street Health Center’s Behavioral Health department, we assess risk for suicidal and homicidal ideation every time we meet an individual, and we complete a formal assessment of every patient yearly, or when their risk increases. Therapists at Whittier work with individuals to determine their level of depression, whether they are high risk for suicide and homicide, and if they need a higher level of care. Whittier also provides urgent behavioral health care in our Urgent Care Clinic. The BH Urgent Care program is staffed by a psychiatrist, Psychiatric and Medical Nurse Practitioner and a Therapist. Patients are linked to BH groups, primary care and or the Behavioral Health department, depending on their needs. If the patient is considered unsafe, the Boston Emergency Services Team (BEST) is called to evaluate the need for hospitalization, partial hospitalization, or any other level of care. The Boston Emergency Services Team is available 24/7 and can be reached at 1-800-981-4357. They meet with patients at their clinic visits, in their homes, at an emergency room, or in their offices in the Dr. Solomon Carter Fuller Hospital on East Newton Street. If an individual previously had thoughts of suicide, but is currently feeling safe, they often continue to meet with their therapists on a weekly basis. They can also receive possible check-in calls between clinic visits and are re-assessed for risk level in each session. The Whittier Street staff provides a strong network of support for patients who show signs of depression and suicidal ideation, and staff makes sure patients receive the proper care and attention.   Tips for suicide prevention:

  1. Seek professional help
  2. Don’t leave the person alone
  3. Show concern and support
  4. When in doubt, take the person to the emergency room for evaluation
  5. Take any suicidal or homicidal ideation seriously

Resources Mental Health America:

A note about Whittier and COVID-19

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in our area, we ask all clients and patients to call ahead before coming to any of our sites. We are working to take care of most clients/patients via phone/video encounter so we can meet your ongoing healthcare needs. This is for your safety and so we can provide the highest quality of care to you while following CDC guidance for COVID-19. Please call 617-427-1000 for any questions or concerns.

Whittier will provide COVID-19 testing from 10 am to 4 pm on Monday to Friday. Following CDC guidance, we recommend testing if you have a fever AND one of the following three symptoms: cough OR shortness of breath OR sore throat. Please bring your picture identification and your insurance card (if you have insurance).