In 2016, Taos County witnessed 16 suicides, including two teenagers. Yet little exists in Taos in the way of suicide prevention.
Taos Behavioral Health is here to fill that gap.
The entire clinical staff of TBH has been trained in C-SSRS — Columbia Suicide Scale — C-SSRS uses a series of simple questions to assess the level of suicidal intent. The scale can identify those in need of intervention and those most severely at risk, to reduce excessive hospitalization and further trauma.
Our staff is trained in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Suicide Prevention (CBT-SP). According to a study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, CBT-SP is one of the few treatments that has been shown to reduce suicidal behavior.
Leading the Charge
TBH is in the process of becoming a Zero Suicide agency. Zero Suicide is a commitment to suicide prevention in health and behavioral health care systems that utilizes a specific set of tools and strategies. It is both a concept and a practice.
TBH’s suicide prevention effort focuses on Taos High School students. When a concern comes in from a teacher, principal, or social worker, that a child is in crisis, one of the counselors rushes to offer help. (Taos High School has only one social worker for special ed students due to budget cuts.)
Funding for Crisis Response
We bill Medicaid and private insurance for our services, but crisis response or intervention does not meet Medicaid’s strict requirements. Yet our counselors cannot turn away from a child in crisis when they know they have the skills to help.
How You Can Help
Suicide Prevention is one TBH program that cries out for funding by individual donors. If you would like to Help Us Help Taos prevent suicide, please email our CEO Simon Torrez or call him at 575-758-4297 to discuss funding for this critical program.