Alliance and Suicide Prevention Lab

Suicide Prevention Initiatives

Referral & Linkage



This aim focuses on the process involved in successful referrals which consists of identifying an at-risk client and mental health resources and services that would be beneficial to that client. Individuals working with mental health or human service entities (e.g., hospitals, private practitioners, behavioral health organizations) then link at-risk youth to mental health services. This process not only places emphasis on the importance of linking youth to services, but also emphasizes the importance of improving continuity of care strategies to ensure youth remain in needed services. This typically involves collaborating with the youth's family or other helping professionals, thus strengthening systems of care for at-risk youth. The following initiatives have been implemented as part of this aim:

    Care Coordination Services

    This is a collaborative process of assessment, planning, facilitation, care coordination, evaluation, and advocacy to find services that meet an individual's and family's comprehensive health care needs through the use of community resources. While care coordination services can be performed in a variety of ways, the ultimate goal is to optimize client functioning and prevent individuals from "falling through the cracks" of an uncoordinated system of care. Prior projects have created care coordination positions, such as a County Case Manager whose role was to monitor linkages over a 90-day period in order to ensure connections to services had been successfully established and maintained. Eventually on a different project, care coordination teams were created to assess suicide risk, link youth to services, and monitor care over an extended period of time. Two goals of these teams was to create and maintain cross-system care coordination teams that would collaborate with agencies and construct an evidence-based, suicide risk assessment and care coordination tool for use during assessment and follow-up processes.

    The Linking Individuals Needing Care (LINC) Care Coordination Training

    An innovative, research and consumer-informed program that provides enhanced training to care coordinators on how to provide wraparound service facilitation to at-risk youth and their families. While there are people who exist in the care coordination roles, a large number of these individuals lack the training and some of the elements that are potentially necessary for coordinating care for suicidal individuals. Thus, this training was developed in response to poor coordination and follow-up from identification and emergency services to treatment services. The program uses a community-based research approach which involves soliciting feedback and recommendations from care coordinators on what would help them better engage with a suicidal youth and what information would be pertinent to include in a training of this kind.