Hartford HealthCare is one of the largest health systems in Connecticut. Through their work with the AHA Suicide Prevention in the Health Care Workforce Collaborative they chose to focus on addressing behavioral health stigma throughout their system.
The team at Hartford HealthCare is working to remove or modify the questions from the hospital and system-based credentialing, peer review, and application policies and processes that stigmatize seeking care for a behavioral health disorder. Prior to joining the collaborative, Hartford HealthCare had already begun working on this project. One of the reasons that Hartford chose to go this direction was because they would be able to work on it with limited action from staff and leadership and there is little cost associated. Additionally, they felt this project could be accomplished in a discrete period and it would be easy to measure their progress.
The goal for Hartford was to remove language referencing mental health or substance use concerns in a way that is not supportive of or conducive of encouraging treatment-seeking behaviors. They also plan to review their process of requesting information about past mental health concerns or substance use that may not be relevant to their workforces’ ability to provide care at the present time. Through their participation in the collaborative, Hartford HealthCare had the opportunity to submit their credentialing questions for review and certification from the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation. Their plan is to communicate these changes and updates to their workforce throughout Suicide Prevention Month.
In the future, they plan to implement other suicide prevention strategies aligned with the three drivers identified in the AHA Suicide Prevention in the Health Care Workforce Guide.