Care Management Team Partners with PCP on Suicide Prevention

Teresa Crowell, RN Health Coach received a phone call from a patient who had received her health coaching services flyer in the mail. The patient described recent health challenges that led to an emergency room visit the week prior. The day after his ED visit, the patient experienced uncontrollable pain, and combined with his history of anxiety and limited family support led him to thoughts of self-harm.

The patient did not act on his thoughts and began to feel physical and emotional relief. However, days later he again started to question life and stumbled upon the KHP Care Management flyer offering support. Elizabeth Atkins, KHP Outpatient Care Coordinator/Social Worker reached out to the patient, who agreed to meet her at his PCP’s office. She quickly learned the patient had increased symptoms of depression and anxiety, and had attempted suicide many years prior. She also found that the patient had significant stress concerning mounting medical bills and the impact of a new diagnosis. Fortunately, the patient had a drive to live and wanted to seek help.

Working in partnership with his provider, Elizabeth was able to refer patient to a local community mental health provider and get him a timely appointment. The PCP was able to prescribe a short-term medication until the patient could be referred to a psychiatrist for ongoing behavioral health needs.  In the interim, she worked with the patient on coping activities the patient could utilize if he experienced increased anxiety and shared a 24-hour crisis line to call.

“Thanks to the intervention of RN Health Coach Teresa Crowell and Social Worker Elizabeth Atkins, a tragic incident was prevented,” said Dr. Lakshmi Naidu. Following support by his PCP and the KHP Care Management team, the patient stated he felt much more confident in his ability to manage the challenges of life.