Colleton Medical Center
November 16, 2021

Colleton Medical Center is proud to be recognized as a 2021 Drive to Zero Suicide award recipient for advancing a culture that addresses suicide prevention as a key element of care. The award, given by the South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA) in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Mental Health (SCDMH), promotes healthcare facilities that pursue best practices for preventing suicide in their communities.

Colleton Medical Center is recognized for adopting specific Zero Suicide strategies. These strategies include evidence-based suicide prevention training for staff, formal policies to screen patients, enhanced safety planning, and a follow-up process for patients with a local community mental health center or another provider. SCHA and SCDMH share this partnership as South Carolina has a higher number of suicides than the national average and has seen a rise in the suicide rate, even before the pandemic.

“As healthcare providers, we have implemented certain clinical and operational practices to ensure that we are providing the highest level of quality and patient safety possible,” said Dr. Charles Shissias, Psychiatry Medical Director at Colleton Medical Center. “Now we are taking that same culture of communication and high reliability and directing it to suicide prevention. We are grateful for this recognition and will continue to care for our community like family in every way we can.”

“In 2020 there were 23,975 South Carolinians that walked into an emergency room with suicidal ideations. That’s one South Carolinian every 22 minutes,” said Jennifer Butler, Program Director for the SCDMH Office of Suicide Prevention. “That’s why these partnerships with hospitals are so important. We know they’re coming in their doors, and we know they need help.”

Colleton Medical Center is one of 20 facilities in South Carolina recognized for embracing the Drive to Zero Suicide program to help prevent suicide.