COVID-19: HCA Healthcare launches series of virtual events to raise suicide prevention awareness

Woman wearing face mask on bus

This World Suicide Prevention Day, HCA Healthcare is launching a series of virtual events to highlight caregiver and community resources to support individuals struggling with suicidal thoughts or depression.

Woman holding baby in one arm with her other hand on her forehead

Quarantine. Physical distancing. Stay-at-home order.

The very strategies that have helped to keep us physically healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic have had an adverse impact on nationwide mental health and suicide risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), during late June 40% of adults in the United States reported struggling with mental health or substance abuse.

Even before the pandemic hit, suicide rates were on the rise, listed as the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S.

In 2018, 4.3% of adults in the U.S. reported serious consideration of suicide in the previous 30 days. In 2020, that figure more than doubled, with 10.7% of CDC survey respondents stating that things looked dire enough to seriously consider suicide.

Even further – for the youngest survey respondents aged 18-24, the CDC saw an alarming uptick in suicidal ideation, with 25% reporting that they’d thought about ending their lives.

“What we’re seeing in some of this preliminary data is a peek at the second curve – one where we’ll see the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Frank Drummond, medical director for behavioral health services at HCA Healthcare.

“That’s why it’s critically important that HCA Healthcare works together to promote awareness of suicide and decreases the stigma that undoubtedly surrounds the topic. We must provide training for those that wish to help and give those struggling the support they need.”

Man wearing suit and tie. Headshot of Dr. Frank Drummond.
Dr. Frank Drummond, HCA Healthcare’s medical director of behavioral health services

Our dedication to the mental health of our communities

HCA Healthcare has a deep-rooted history of providing mental health education to our communities, partnering with The Jason Foundation, Inc. (JFI) since 2013 in the vital effort to end youth suicide. A national affiliate for JFI, HCA Healthcare supports trainings in hospitals, off-campus provider-based emergency departments, facilities, physician practices and urgent care locations across the U.S.

And now – HCA Healthcare’s behavioral health services team is urgently working on interventions to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the incidence of suicide-related outcomes. We’re strengthening our commitment to developing and implementing mental health programs for our colleagues, our patients and our communities.

This September, join the conversation

This Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, several HCA Healthcare facilities have joined together to present a series of educational webinars for internal colleagues and community partners alike – to bring awareness to a myriad of suicide-related topics.

“Through our various virtual events, our goal is to increase awareness and connection on a crucial topic: suicide,” Dr. Drummond continues. “By linking arms with our community partners – new and old – in the fight against suicide, we can make a meaningful difference.”

We can all benefit from conversations around suicide prevention and awareness. Just one conversation can save a life.

Will you join us on one of the below webinars?

HCA Healthcare’s Capital Division

Coach David Martin, Tennessee Football Coaches Hall of Fame Inductee, Preventing Suicide in Our Youth

  • Presented by: HCA Virginia Behavioral Health and The Jason Foundation, Inc.
  • When: 1:00 p.m. EST / 12 p.m. CST, Thursday, Sept. 10 2020
  • What: An hour long virtual session focused on suicide prevention and awareness resources
  • Access: Register here

HCA Healthcare’s TriStar Division

Silent Suffering: The Impact of Suicide in Women

  • Presented by: HCA Healthcare’s TriStar Division behavioral health services
  • When: 12:30 p.m. EST / 11:30 a.m. CST, Thursday, Sept. 10 2020
  • What: A discussion on the risk factors associated with a higher rate of women contemplating suicide, such as post-partum depression. Also to be discussed: the role of COVID and current suicide trends in women, the various levels of care for treatment and the benefits of programming.
  • Access: Webex meeting link

HCA Healthcare’s South Atlantic Division

“Primum Non Nocere – to Yourself: Accountability for Self-Care”

  • Presented by: HCA Healthcare’s South Atlantic division
  • When: 12:00 p.m. EST / 11:00 a.m. CST, Thursday, Sept. 10 2020
  • What: Jeffrey Cluver, medical director for Behavioral Health at Trident Health System will speak during a WebEx event for Suicide Prevention Awareness month, encouraging caregivers and communities to stand together to be a voice of hope and courage.
  • Access: Webex meeting link

HCA Healthcare’s Far West Division

Suicide Awareness and Prevention

  • Presented by: Good Samaritan Hospital Behavioral Health
  • When: 12 p.m. PST / 2:00 p.m. CST, Thursday, Sept. 10 2020
  • What: A WebEx with Manuj Nangia, MD, MPH. Nangia is a Board-Certified Psychiatrist and will discuss suicide awareness and interventions.
  • Access: Webex meeting link

Nevada Gatekeeper Training

  • Presented by: The Pavilion at Southern Hills Hospital and the Nevada Coalition Office of Suicide Prevention
  • When: 8:00 a.m. PST / 10:00 a.m. CST, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020
  • What: Participants will learn the nature of suicide, myths and facts, warnings signs, risk and protective factors, increase confidence to intervene; identify referral resources; learn to interact sensitively with survivors; and discuss other postvention efforts
  • Access: internal registration

HCA Healthcare’s Continental Division

Adolescent Depressions, Addiction & Suicidal Ideation in our COVID-19 Environment

  • Presented by: Jessica Tse, psychiatrist
  • When: 2:15 p.m. EST / 1:15 p.m. CST, Wednesday, Sept. 9 2020
  • What: This presentation is designed to help providers recognize the signs and symptoms of depression in adolescents, identify risk factors for anxiety and depression in adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic and assess adolescents for symptoms related to suicidality, depression, and anxiety.
  • Access: Webex meeting link

Multicultural Competency & Responsive Care

  • Presented by: Anat Geva, PsyD
  • When: 10:00 a.m. MST / 9:00 a.m. CST, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020
  • What: This presentation is designed to help professionals identify steps to increase one’s own cultural competency and understand culture as a social construct.
  • Access: Register here

HCA Healthcare’s Mountain Division

Q&A: Breaking the Stigma!

  • Presented by: Ogden Regional Medical Center Behavioral Health Services
  • When: Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020
  • What: Video presented by Jen Gorder, LCSW discussing mental health stigma
  • Access: Facebook link

Fostering Hope through Connections

  • Sponsored by: Behavioral Health Center at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center; Presented by Community Suicide Prevention (CSP), serving southeastern Idaho
  • When: 8:30 am MST / 9:30 am CST, Friday, Sept. 18 2020
  • What: CSP’s annual suicide prevention conference featuring Dr. Thomas Joiner, Robert O. Lawton distinguished professor of psychology, author “Why People Die by Suicide”
  • Access: Register here

HCA Healthcare’s Mid-America Division

Trauma Resilience and Suicide Prevention: What is the Connection?

  • Presented by: Research Psychiatric Center and Resilience Builders
  • When: 4:00 p.m. EST / 3:00 p.m. CST, Wednesday, Sept. 29 2020
  • What: This presentation will explore the impact trauma has on depression, anxiety, substance use and suicidal ideation and discuss the importance of building resilience as a tool to combat suicidal thinking.
  • Access: Register here

Texas HCA Healthcare facilities

6th Annual Suicide Prevention Symposium

  • Presented by: Bayview Behavioral Hospital
  • When: 9:30 a.m. EST / 8:30 a.m. CST, Friday, Sept. 11 2020
  • What: Four powerful presentations on stigma and suicide prevention cultural relevance
  • Access: Webex meeting link

Florida HCA Healthcare facilities

H.O.P.E (Helping Our Professionals Excel) Virtual Conference

  • Presented by: Fort Walton Beach Medical Center Behavioral Health
  • When: 11:00 a.m. EST / 10:00 a.m. CST, Friday, Sept. 25, 2020
  • What: Presentations on the importance of suicide prevention in 2020; Vaping: what’s the big deal; parent/child interactions therapy for young children with behavioral problems; equine therapy: healing through horses
  • Access: Webex meeting link

Staying Mentally Connected While Physically Distant – Virtual Conference

  • Presented by: Osceola Regional Medical Center Behavioral Health Center and Twelve Oaks
  • When: 9:00 a.m. EST / 8:00 a.m. CST, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020
  • What: Virtual day conference hosted by behavioral health providers in Central Florida. Speakers will share knowledge and address strategies and tools that can be utilized for Suicide Prevention Month.
  • Access: Register here

HCA Healthcare’s East Florida Division

First Responders Training: Addressing Suicide Within Youth & Within the Profession

  • Presented by: The Jason Foundation and Dr. Kamron Fariba, psychiatrist resident
  • When: 12:00 p.m. EST / 11:00 a.m. CST, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020
  • What: Pre-recorded first responders training addressing youth suicide and first responder suicide with live Q&A session with Dr. Kamron Fariba.
  • Access: WebEx meeting link

HCA Healthcare’s North Florida Division

Facebook Live Event: Q & A with Dr. Ferraro

  • Presented by: Capital Regional Medical Center
  • When: 12:00 p.m. EST / 11:00 a.m. CST, Tuesday September 22, 2020
  • What: Facebook live Q&A seminar with Dr. Jeffrey Ferraro, psychiatrist
  • Access: Facebook page

HCA Healthcare’s West Florida Division

Jason Foundation Event: Don’t Be Silent 

  • Presented by: Brandon Regional Hospital, Memorial Hospital of Tampa and Central Baptist Christian School
  • When: 10:20 a.m. EST/ 11:20 a.m. CST, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020
  • What: Suicide awareness presentation to youth
  • Access: View livestream by selecting “live video” at
Girl wearing headphones while doing homework with laptop, textbook and notebook

Don’t dismiss suicide concerns

During COVID-19, if you believe that you or someone you know is at risk for suicide, trust your instincts. You can still safely reach out to others and ask for help. Don’t be afraid to let others know that you need support.

  • Contact your doctor or a mental health professional to help you cope with suicidal thoughts.
  • Call a mental health crisis number or a suicide hotline. In the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 any time of day.
  • Call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number.
  • Reach out to a close friend or loved one.

If you’re with someone who is actively considering suicide, do not leave them alone. Call 9-1-1 right away or transport them to the nearest emergency room.

Nashville-based HCA Healthcare Behavioral Health Services offers only the highest quality compassionate care supported by board-certified psychiatrists and interdisciplinary teams. We offer a wide variety of treatment options in person and virtually to meet the needs of our patients including adult, geriatric, child and adolescent programs as well as specialty community need programs in 18 states, comprising of 3,200 beds in 66 inpatient programs and 160 outpatient programs.

The knowledge and data we gain from over 195,000 behavioral health patient encounters a year enables us to make advances in caring for those experiencing mental illness. By integrating medical care with behavioral health treatment programs we are able to care for the well-being of the whole patient and lead the way to healthier communities.  Through community partnerships and outreach we actively work to reduce the stigma associated with accessing behavioral health resources.

About HCA Healthcare

HCA Healthcare, one of the nation's leading providers of healthcare services, is comprised of 182 hospitals and more than 2,300 sites of care, in 20 states and the United Kingdom. Our more than 283,000 colleagues are connected by a single purpose — to give patients healthier tomorrows.

As an enterprise, we recognize the significant responsibility we have as a leading healthcare provider within each of the communities we serve, as well as the opportunity we have to improve the lives of the patients for whom we are entrusted to care. Through the compassion, knowledge and skill of our caregivers, and our ability to leverage our scale and innovative capabilities, HCA Healthcare is in a unique position to play a leading role in the transformation of care.

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