In Arkansas, more than four times as many people died by suicide than by alcohol related motor vehicle accidents in 2017, amounting to a death by suicide every 14 hours. The impact of suicide ripples through all communities but may be felt even harder in rural areas of the state where resources for prevention, identification, and treatment are less accessible and residents face more extreme health and economic disparities than their urban counterparts.
The Arkansas Lives Network of Care (ALiNC) project led by the Arkansas Behavioral Health Integration Network (ABHIN) aims to address this entirely preventable but tragic outcome. The ALiNC Project will bring together rural primary care providers, suicide prevention resources, and specialty behavioral health providers to coordinate services related to suicide prevention. Anchored in primary care, the ALiNC Project is grounded in the fact that one-half of people who complete suicide have an encounter with their primary care provider in the month prior.
By training primary care teams to utilize their skills to assess suicide risk and confidently connect patients with appropriate resources, ABHIN expects participating practices and local support services will play a pivotal role in preventing suicides in rural Arkansas.