Why “Jumpers” is the Wrong Word

Crisis Access LLC, David Covington, Zero Suicide in HealthcareI just returned from a whistle-stop speaking tour in New Zealand and Australia. While it was only a brief week-long trip, I brought back so many amazing memories of the people and places. The most indelible by far was Gap Park, just five miles outside Sydney. The park sits atop cliffs that outline the coast for miles on the city’s eastern side. Continue Reading

Historic Summit Celebrating Lived Experience (San Francisco)

National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, David Covington, Crisis Access LLC, Lived Experience National Summit 2014In “Silver Linings Playbook,” Pat Solitano talks about his friend Tiffany with his psychiatrist. He questions whether he, like Tiffany, can like “that [‘shameful’] part” of himself along with all the other parts.

“Can you?” Dr. Jones asks.

“You’re really asking me that question? What, with all my crazy sad[ness]… Are you [completely] nuts?” Pat says. Continue Reading

Us & Them: Our Brothers in Law Enforcement

Crisis Intervention Team, Nick Margiotta, CIT, Law Enforcement, Behavioral Health, David Covington, Crisis Access LLCWe had just exited the Urgent Psychiatric Center (UPC) when the radio announced an armed robbery in process at a convenience store just over a mile away. Nick and I jumped into his police cruiser and took off. My body slammed back into the seat from Nick’s swift acceleration and I barely noticed the scenery as my peripheral vision dropped away, Continue Reading

How to Avoid Tragedies and Near Misses

Crisis Access LLC, David Covington, Air Traffic Control, Integrated Crisis SystemAt the end of November in 2013, Virginia State Senator Creigh Deeds told CNN that he was alive for just one reason: to work for change in mental health. Just a week earlier, his son “Guss” stabbed him 10 times and then ended his own life by suicide. This happened only hours after a mental health evaluation determined that Guss needed more intensive services, but unfortunately, Continue Reading

Measure Something!

Crisis Access LLC, David Covington, Quality Management, David Lloyd, MTM Services, National Council for Behavioral HealthI just returned from the National Council for Behavioral Health Board of Directors annual retreat, which was held this year in beautiful San Juan, Puerto Rico. It is always invigorating to network with colleagues from across the country, receive an update on the innovations of the National Council team, and plan together on how best to advance the cause of behavioral health in the coming year. I travelled 3,008 miles from Phoenix, Arizona to participate. Continue Reading

Is Suicide Really a Choice?

Zero Suicide in Healthcare, David Covington, Crisis Access LLC, Behavioral Health Link, Recovery Innovations, ProtoCall ServicesAfter multiple trips down the hall, I dumped the last bucket of ice into the bathtub, then topped it off with cold water.  Just a couple hours earlier, I had completed my first marathon in New York’s Central Park, finishing fifteen minutes north of three hours. My legs cramped badly in the last half-mile, and after returning to our hotel, my friend Michael and I thought it would be a good idea to do what the professionals do to expedite recovery: take an ice bath. Continue Reading

A Better Way to Improve Health (Besides Diet, Exercise… and Integration)

Health and Wellness, David Covington, Integrated Care, Crisis AccessNearly half of Americans made a New Year’s resolution over the past week. I did. I pledged to return to the Six Gap Century road race in north Georgia, which means I’ll need to spend a lot more time on my road bike in 2014. In fact, many people’s resolutions revolve around health and wellness, and the top ten year over year include losing weight, getting fit, eating better, and quitting smoking. Continue Reading