News Release Details

Sep 15, 2011
Magellan Health Services Receives International Award for Suicide Prevention in Central Arizona

PHOENIX --(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Magellan Health Services (NASDAQ:MGLN) announced today that the Central Arizona Programmatic Suicide Deterrent System Project—a collaboration with Magellan Health Services of Arizona's provider partners and the Arizona Department of Health Services/Division of Behavioral Health Services—has received the International Association of Suicide Prevention's (IASP) prestigious Lee Award. The project combines the efforts of community and behavioral health leaders to eliminate suicides among individuals enrolled in the region's public behavioral healthcare system who have a serious mental illness. David Covington, chief of adult services, Magellan Health Services of Arizona, accepted the award at the IASP World Congress in Beijing.


IASP's Peter Lee Award recognizes evidence-based practices aimed at reducing suicidal behaviors and raising awareness of suicide prevention across different countries, cultures, religions and ethnic groups.

"Magellan and our partners in this project are honored to receive this recognition," said Richard Clarke, Ph.D., CEO of Magellan Health Services of Arizona. "This project has resulted in a shift in the thinking about suicide in our behavioral health system. Suicide prevention and intervention are now at the core of our work instead of at the periphery. We accomplished this by equipping more than 2,100 behavioral health providers with best-practice Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)."

"Our program stands out from others in its ambitious goal—to eliminate suicides in the public behavioral healthcare system—and in its broad scope," said Laura Nelson, M.D., deputy chief of the Arizona Department of Health Services/Division of Behavioral Health Services. "We have attacked the problem of suicide from multiple perspectives. This includes suicide intervention training for all behavioral health staff, peer support, family engagement, clinical care and interventions, community integration and best practices around race and equity."

"This project and the recognition from the IASP exemplify the power of collaboration and clinical innovation," said Anne McCabe, senior vice president of public sector at Magellan Health Services. "Behavioral health initiatives such as these work best when communities come together to share their best resources, expertise and support to make a difference in the lives of those who need our help the most."

The project has moved into a second phase, which involves working to establish family and community support for people at highest risk of suicide attempts. Earlier this year, Magellan Health Services of Arizona launched peer support groups for people who have survived a suicide attempt or have regular thoughts of suicide. The goal is to provide participants with the resources they need to manage suicidal thoughts when they occur and to support these individuals in their ongoing recovery.

"Simply put, being connected to family, friends, and other supports prevents suicide attempts," said Clarke. "By providing a safe environment for discussion and interaction with properly trained people—and people who have survived suicide attempts—we are building bonds of trust that will prevent thoughts from becoming action."

The project is also focused on developing a clinical care and intervention framework which involves collaboration among providers to determine the most appropriate level of intervention and to develop a safety plan. Plans are also being developed with individuals to reduce emotional distress and suicidal feelings.

About the Programmatic Suicide Deterrent System Project: The program began in late 2009 and was developed by Magellan Health Services of Arizona, the Arizona Division of Behavioral Health Services, providers, members of Arizona's judicial and legislative branches, police and other community stakeholders. Already, more than 2,100 behavioral health care workers have been equipped with skills, knowledge, attitudes and support to more effectively intervene and engage with those at risk of suicide. Additional areas of emphasis include race and equity, family engagement, clinical care and intervention, and community integration. For more information about the project, visit

About the International Association for Suicide Prevention: IASP is dedicated to preventing suicidal behavior, to alleviate its effects, and to provide a forum for academics, mental health professionals, crisis workers, volunteers and suicide survivors. IASP celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year, and its annual World Congress is being held in Beijing, China. For more information, visit

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 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, serving approximately 31.3 million members in our behavioral health business, 18.9 million members in our radiology benefits management segment, and five million members in our medical pharmacy management product. In addition, the specialty pharmaceutical segment serves 41 health plans and several pharmaceutical manufacturers and state Medicaid programs. The Company's Medicaid Administration segment serves 25 states and the District of Columbia. For more information, visit


Magellan Health Services Inc.
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Spanish Language Media:
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Source: Magellan Health Services Inc.



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