September is suicide prevention awareness month

The Colorado State Innovation Model (SIM) is increasing access to integrated behavioral and physical health or whole-person care through investments in practices, community mental health centers as well as behavioral health transformation collaboratives, local public health agencies and regional health connectors (RHCs) across the state. Some of this investment has been focused on reducing mental health stigma, which prevents one in five Americans with mental health conditions from seeking help. Boys and men are a particularly vulnerable population when it comes to suicide risk, according to data referenced in the SIM call-to-action report that was led by the SIM population health workgroup. The report (http://bit.ly/mental-health-call-to-action), which outlines a 10-year action plan to improve mental health for boys and men, was discussed during the Public Health in the Rockies conference last month (pictured to the left) and during the Medical Home Community Forum yesterday (picture below). Your help is needed. Please answer this call-to-action and become part of the solution today. Listen to a short podcast (http://bit.ly/CTA_podcast) with population health leaders in the state and learn how you can get involved.

Shi Lynn Coleman, MPA, led a panel discussion with public - and private - sector thought leaders about this call-to-action report at the Public Health in the Rockies conference Aug. 31 in Frisco, Colorado, at the Copper Mountain Conference Center. Panelist Tista Ghosh, MD, MPH, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment talked about how society must change the way it views mental illness so that men seek the help they need. She likened this wide-sweeping social change to statewide efforts to reduce smoking during the last decade and reminded a 60-plus person audience that comprehensive societal change is possible and necessary to improve the health of Coloradans.  The call-to-action identifies new partnerships, an action plan and a timeline to make this a reality: http://bit.ly/mental-health-call-to-action.