Many Teens Have Access to a Firearm

January 13th, 2015 by Kelli Donley No comments »

New research from the University of Washington finds some 41 percent of American teens report being in a home with easy access to a firearm. The study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, reports suicide is the second leading cause of death for teens in the US. Ready access to a firearm is a risk factor for suicides of all ages.

Data from 2001-2004 was used, including information from teens age 13-18. Older, male and non-Hispanic teens had more access to firearms; additionally, those living in wealthy or rural areas were also more likely to have access.

In Arizona, the latest data shows some 1100 Arizonans committed suicide in 2012. From 2009-2013, Arizona had more than 5,500 suicides, 2,000 homicides and another almost 900 undetermined deaths.

The lead researcher noted the age of the data is a limitation to the findings.

For information about safely storing firearms in the home, visit:

Prescott Group Gives Hope to Isolated Elders

January 13th, 2015 by Kelli Donley No comments »

The Senior Suicide Prevention Coalition of Prescott hosts a monthly circle to encourage peers – elders in the community who may be feeling isolated, hopeless or depressed. The Path to Hope Circle gathers from 1-2:30 pm, the second Tuesday monthly, at St. Luke’s Church in Prescott.

The independent peer support group is facilitated, and is free to anyone interested.

For more information, call Terri Roza: 928-445-5211 ext. 2672

Greater Arizona Integrated Regional Behavioral Health Authority Awards Announced

December 18th, 2014 by Cory Nelson No comments »

Today the Arizona Department of Health Services awarded contracts for the Northern and Southern regions of the state to Health Choice Integrated Care (HCIC) and Cenpatico Integrated Care. HCIC will serve as the RBHA for the Northern Region and Cenpatico will serve the Southern Region. These two organizations have strong ties to the areas they will serve and have developed an excellent roadmap to continued improvements in health care outcomes for some of Arizona’s most vulnerable citizens. We were pleased to have some very good proposals submitted by all participating organizations demonstrating a strong commitment to the provision of care here in Arizona.

HCIC is a new corporation that was formed through a partnership between Northern Area Regional Behavioral Health Authority (NARBHA) and Health Choice Arizona. Both NARBHA and Health Choice currently provide services to members in the service area and have worked collaboratively over the last several years to coordinate care for members. Cenpatico Integrated Care is a new corporation that was formed through a partnership between Cenpatico of Arizona and the University of Arizona Health Network (UAHN). Both Cenpatico and UAHN have provided services to members in the Southern region and the partnership leverages the strong resources of both entities to create a comprehensive network for care.

The contracts for the Northern and Southern regions will begin on October 1, 2015 and are three-year contracts with the option for two additional two-year extensions.

Questions related to the procurement may be directed to Elena Beeman @ 602-542-2944.

Click here to view the award.


Mental illness and the flu

December 12th, 2014 by Claudia Sloan No comments »

People with mental illness have extra reason to be mindful of the flu season, particularly if they smoke, or have other medical vulnerabilities.

In general, older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications.

Complications from the flu can make existing illnesses more severe, lead to hospitalization and even death. Prevention is key!

Learn more about mental health and the flu through our current quarterly health initiative at

Recovery WORKS now available!

December 9th, 2014 by Claudia Sloan No comments »

In this issue you will find inspiring recovery success stories, behavioral health news, resources, and/or information from our community.

Our featured peer success story is about Eric, who shares how he overcame depression, ADHS and Asperger’s Disorder. In our “Healthy Living” section you will find information and/or tips for enjoying a healthy lifestyle. This issue highlights immune health. The “Dimensions of Wellness” section in this issue highlights the “Financial Dimension of Wellness”. Each issue explores one of the eight dimensions of wellness and provides you with ideas or resources to help address that particular dimension of wellness in your life.  Click this link to read our entire newsletter online and to view past issues of Recovery WORKS. Enjoy!

Walk Scheduled for Survivors of Suicide

December 2nd, 2014 by Claudia Sloan No comments »

Officials from EMPACT-SPC, a local non-profit agency, are once again gathering community members to walk a 5k in honor loss survivors of suicide. At 8 am, Saturday, February 7th, walkers will come together at Tempe’s Kiwanis Park for the annual memorial Jeremyah Walk.

Those who have a family member or close friend who has committed suicide are up to nine times more likely to also be suicidal. This walk is one way to help the organization raise awareness about its services. It’s also one way we can help others and raise dollars to make sure programs are available for those struggling with depression, anxiety, grief and loss. The walk’s motto is:  “Take a walk, save a life. Help us create a safe, strong, and healthy community.”

Jeremyah was a 19 year old young man who died by suicide. He was the son of one of the EMPACT-SPC group members, Chris. Chris never thought he would be able to handle his son’s suicide. He found hope and comfort in our Tempe SOS group and eventually became a volunteer for EMPACT-SPC, to give back in a meaningful way. He came up with the idea to start a memorial walk/day of remembrance for fellow survivors, which has now become an annual event.


For more information, visit:

UofA’s Creative Approach to Suicide Prevention Among Students

November 29th, 2014 by Claudia Sloan No comments »

Health leaders at the University of Arizona have approached suicide prevention among students and faculty with a creative eye. In lieu of asking each professor to specifically discuss suicide prevention and resources on campus, instead instructors are asked to incorporate appropriate power point presentations into their already established materials.


These educational slides discuss suicide in a way that ties to the educational subject at hand, but also immediately provides students with the information necessary to access resources on campus. It also keeps suicide prevention in the forefront of the university’s teaching staff.  The slides are free and available for others to use as well. For more information, visit:

Guest post by Kelli Donley, Project Manager at ADHS/DBHS (contact her at


Family Caregivers are the Most Important Part of the Health Care Team

November 28th, 2014 by Claudia Sloan No comments »

The theme for this year’s National Caregivers Month is Care Comes Home. Care for most of our loved ones does not take place in hospitals or nursing homes.  Most care actually happens in the home, and that’s a good thing.

People are healthier at home. Caring for loved ones at home also lowers health care costs. Family caregivers have the best interests of their loved ones at heart and should not only be acknowledged as a part of the health care, but as the most important part of that team.

Family caregivers are the only people who are consistently present with their loved ones across all care settings. Everyone else can and does change.  You may have more than one doctor, nurse or pharmacy.  But it is the family caregivers who are there through it all.

Family caregivers spend an average of 20 hours per week caring for their loved ones, more time than any medical professional spends with them.  They have a better understanding of the loved one and know more about their health. The family caregiver is also in the best position to notice changes and respond to issues.

The Nation’s 90 million family caregivers are on the front line. They provide care every day and enable their loved ones to stay at home longer where they are happier and healthier.


Can Thanksgiving be Happy and Stress Free?

November 24th, 2014 by Claudia Sloan No comments »


The holidays can be a stressful time, and Thanksgiving Day is no exception.   From   planning and cooking to getting together with relatives or friends, it can all lead to stress.     These pressures can take much of the joy out of Thanksgiving.



Below are some suggestions to make your Thanksgiving day a HAPPY one, and stress free:

  • Make a plan. Don’t wait until the last minute. Figure out menus and guest lists early. Do your shopping in advance to avoid crowds. Prepare some foods early. If you buy a frozen turkey, remember that depending upon the weight, a turkey can take up to five days to thaw in the refrigerator. By coordinating and planning ahead, you can save yourself and your family a lot of last minute worry.
  • Ask for help. You don’t have to do everything yourself. Have guests bring a side dish or dessert. The whole family can help clean house and put up decorations. Have kids set the table and keep them busy while you cook in the kitchen. Making sure to share the work of Thanksgiving will ensure that everyone has a happy day.
  • Eat well, exercise, and sleep. Rest and a healthy body can help fight stress. Eating normally, staying active and going to bed on time may all seem like simple solutions, but they really work and will keep you from panicking when things get demanding.
  • Remember what’s important. Take time out to enjoy the day and have some fun. Watch the parade, play a game, talk with guests, or take a walk. Even though the meal may seem like the biggest part of the day, the most important part is spending time with your loved ones and giving thanks for all you have.


Happy Thanksgiving!

Pascua Yaqui to Discuss Suicide Prevention with Community

November 23rd, 2014 by Claudia Sloan No comments »

The Centered Spirit Program with the Pascua Yaqui Tribe is hosting a variety of suicide prevention events during November and December. Here are three you don’t want to miss:

  • November 24: A conversation with tribal elders about suicide, including prescription drug overdoses. Centered Spirit Program Director Dr. Clare Cory is helping lead the conversation.
  • December 3: Community conversation on suicide prevention
  • December 23: SAFETALK training to tribal youth, in partnership with EMPACT.


For more information about these events, contact Vanessa M. Bustos — 480-768-2064.