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Provider Focus Newsletter
News & information for Magellan network providers

region/plan-specific news : Pennsylvania HealthChoices

Treat suicide like a public health crisis

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that suicide rates have jumped 30% in the U.S. since 1999. As suicide reaches crisis-level proportions in our nation, it’s time to recognize suicide as a public health crisis and learn about the warning signs and the skills needed to save a life. Please share this information with your members and colleagues.
At Magellan, we believe that one suicide is too many and should be a never event. We empower the entire system—the individual, their network of family and friends, and the community—with knowledge, education and tools to change attitudes and behaviors in an environment of uninterrupted and supportive care.

Our solution incorporates:

  • Awareness and stigma reduction
  • Population surveillance and early detection
  • Network/caregiver/family training
  • Analytics and research
  • Shift from crisis management to early prevention
  • Advocacy for inclusion of depression screenings in every primary care visit
  • Implementation of digital solutions to address BH conditions, such as insomnia and depression, and reduce suicide rates by improving outreach and connectivity.

As parent survivors, we were introduced to Magellan through the Suicide Prevention Summit hosted by Behavioral Health of Cambria County and Magellan Healthcare in December  2017 in Johnstown, PA. From that Summit, the Cambria County Suicide Prevention Task Force was formed in February 2018 and we serve as the chairs for this collaborative group and we appreciate the ability to work with the entire Magellan organization as we continue our mission. Through the Task Force, we have attended trainings offered by Magellan and these classes have enhanced our ability to be better prepared as gatekeepers; and as parent survivors we want to learn as much as we can to reduce the stigma of suicide and work toward the prevention of suicide.” 

Byron and Donna Smith, co-chairs for the Cambria County Suicide Prevention Task Force


Next steps you can take to learn more and commit to the cause

 1. Visit these websites:

2. Work to break the stigma around behavioral health disorders - and normalize the need for care.

  • Find videos, take a pledge to support those who have a mental illness or substance use disorder, and more at

3. Seek out suicide training if you have a family member or friend with a behavioral health condition.

  • Visit to find the following training opportunities, and more, in your community:
    • suicideTALK - addresses suicide stigma and offers ways to get involved in suicide prevention community activities
    • safeTALK - teaches how to identify people with suicidal thoughts and connect them with lifesaving resources
    • Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST- explains life-saving interventions for people at risk of suicide
    • Visit to learn about a course you can take near you to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders, and more.

4. Support efforts to build access to behavioral healthcare. Improved access to care, for people of all economic status and backgrounds, will go a long way toward reducing the risk of suicide.

  • Engage with key stakeholders to support efforts to improve access and reduce stigma: providers, lawmakers, local National Association for Mental Illness chapters, school administrators and teachers, etc. 

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If you’d like to speak with someone at Magellan about our suicide prevention efforts or more ways to get involved, please visit and click on “Contact”, or send an email to



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About Provider Focus

Welcome to Provider Focus, our award-winning e-newsletter for network providers! Here you’ll find articles and information to keep you up-to-date on news and topics relevant to serving Magellan members, including a section for regional- and plan-specific news. Check back as a new issue is released each quarter.

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