Magellan Health, Inc.
Apr 16, 2012
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Magellan Health Services of Arizona Receives National Recognition for Suicide Prevention Program

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Today, at the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare's Mental Health and Addictions Conference in Chicago, Magellan Health Services of Arizona, a subsidiary of Magellan Health Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: MGLN), will receive the National Council's Award of Excellence in Service Innovation for its Programmatic Suicide Deterrent System.

"We are thrilled to accept this award from the National Council and pleased to donate the $10,000 prize to the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)," said Richard Clarke, Ph.D., CEO of Magellan Health Services of Arizona. "It is an honor to be recognized for this innovative program and the collaborative effort between Magellan, the Arizona Department of Health Services' Division of Behavioral Health Services, our provider partners and the many community leaders who make this initiative a success."

The Central Arizona Programmatic Suicide Deterrent System is a community collaborative with public policy, law enforcement and mental health leaders to change the culture of "don't ask, don't tell" that surrounds suicide, empower provider agency staff and families with skills and knowledge to intervene when a service recipient talks about suicide, and create a framework to address this major public health problem.

In fiscal year 2007, the suicide death rate for those with serious mental illness enrolled in the behavioral healthcare system in Maricopa County was reported as 175 per 100,000. Since fiscal year 2009, this rate has averaged 113 per 100,000 for those with serious mental illness — a reduction of 42 percent — in the area Magellan serves (Maricopa County, Ariz. and parts of Pinal County, Ariz.).

"Suicide is a preventable cause of death," said David Covington, vice president of adult and child/youth services for Magellan Health Services of Arizona. "At highest risk of suicide are those who face life challenges because of mental illness. In particular, the rate of suicide for individuals with a serious mental illness is six to 12 times higher than the rate of the general population."

Five years ago, half of service providers who had the opportunity to intervene when someone mentioned suicide did not — because they lacked the training, skills and/or supports to do so. Today, through this program, that number is down to just two percent."

The program used a train-the-trainer model and to date more than 2,400 people have received Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST). The training has equipped participants with the skills and knowledge to identify and intervene with those at risk of attempting suicide and has given participants self-confidence in managing through these tense situations.

In addition, for the approximately 1,300 people who are in Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) programs, inpatient hospital rates have declined 51 percent. This decrease can be attributed in part to trained behavioral health professionals that now have significantly increased confidence in engaging individuals at risk in direct conversations about suicide instead of referring them to law enforcement and crisis interventionists, who may be more likely to hospitalize.

For more information about the Programmatic Suicide Deterrent System, visit www.MagellanofAZ.com/suicide.

The SPRC is the nation's only federally supported resource center devoted to advancing the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. It provides technical assistance, training, and materials to increase the knowledge and expertise of suicide prevention practitioners and other professionals serving people at risk for suicide. It also promotes collaboration among a variety of organizations that play a role in developing the field of suicide prevention.

About Magellan Health Services of Arizona

Magellan Health Services of Arizona is the Regional Behavioral Health Authority for central Arizona, which includes all of Maricopa County and part of Pinal County. In this role, Magellan serves as a critical point of connection to the more than 80,000 individuals who have experienced life challenges as a result of mental illness and substance abuse. Magellan gives these individuals voice and choice to realize their desired outcomes and supports them with caring, unrivaled customer service that is sensitive to the diversity of our communities. For more information, visit www.MagellanofAZ.com or call Magellan of Arizona at (800) 564-5465, TTY (800) 424-9831. Information is available in English and Spanish.

About Magellan Health Services

Headquartered in Avon, Conn., Magellan Health Services Inc. is a leading specialty health care management organization with expertise in managing behavioral health, radiology and specialty pharmaceuticals, as well as public sector pharmacy benefits programs. Magellan delivers innovative solutions to improve quality outcomes and optimize the cost of care for those we serve. Magellan's customers include health plans, employers and government agencies. As of December 31, 2011, Magellan served approximately 31.1 million members in our behavioral health business, 15.6 million members in our radiology benefits management segment, and 6 million members in our medical pharmacy management product. In addition, the specialty pharmaceutical segment served 41 health plans and several pharmaceutical manufacturers and state Medicaid programs. The company's Medicaid Administration segment served 25 states and the District of Columbia. For more information, visit www.MagellanHealth.com.

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Source: Magellan Health Services, Inc.

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