For the third year in a row, Kaiser Permanente hosted the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention‘s Executive Committee. The Alliance is the public-private partnership advancing the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention of the office of the U.S. Surgeon General. Dr. Don Mordecai, KP’s national leader for mental health and wellness, attended the event. Dr. Jerome Adams, the current US Surgeon General also attended. He is the fourth Surgeon General to visit the center. During his opening address, Dr. Adams said, “In the spirit of collaboration and better health through better partnerships, I am pleased to be part of the @Action_Alliance and I look forward to continuing to work with you to build a more resilient nation.”
Dr. Adams has made better health through partnerships a key strategy for his office. Kaiser Permanente is proud to partner with the Surgeon General’s office on suicide prevention and others areas of health.
Dr. Adams also mentioned the need to focus on the mental health of children, pointing out the fact that many adverse childhood events (ACEs) occur early in life and have a significant impact on the quality of someone’s life if left untreated.
“We’re talking about adverse childhood experiences and trauma informed care. The risk of you ultimately attempting or dying by suicide doesn’t start at the age that any of us in this room are. It starts at the age my kids are; eight, twelve, thirteen. We need to make sure we are partnering with individuals who know how to speak to that audience and know how to resonate with them if we are going to be successful,” Dr. Adams said.
He noted Kaiser Permanente’s role in the original ACE Study. The study was conducted at Kaiser Permanente from 1995 to 1997 with two waves of data collection. Over 17,000 Health Maintenance Organization members from Southern California receiving physical exams completed confidential surveys regarding their childhood experiences and current health status and behaviors. Ongoing work in the area of ACEs is currently featured on the CDC’s wesbite and has led to modern KP programs such as partnering with schools on trauma-informed care efforts. Teachers are taught to recognize the symptoms of ACEs and to help refer children who may be impacted to additional school and community resources.
Other participants in the room included: representatives from various mental health and suicide prevention organizations; health insurance plans and health care quality organizations such as The Joint Commission; government agencies from the Veterans Affairs Administration to the National Institutes Health, CDC and Department of HHS; congressional members from the Bipartisan House Suicide Prevention Task Force, featuring Congresswoman Grace Napolitano of California; and, broader reaching organizations such as Facebook, the National Football League and the Entertainment Industry Council.
Through our new mental health and wellness tour at the center, you can learn more about current programs across Kaiser Permanente that focus on incorporating evidence-based practices for suicide prevention. Schedule a tour using this request form.
The Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health hosts educational events ranging from prevention and wellness through end-of-life care. All events – including annual banquets, quarterly meetings, trainings, interviews – feature healthy agendas (such as walking meetings or other activity breaks) and offer healthier catering options that can be customized to meet your unique needs. Interactive exhibits throughout the Center for Total health help make your experience both fun and informative for attendees. If your organization is interested in hosting an event, please send us an event request via our website. We look forward to hearing from you!