Transforming Health and Behavioral Health Systems with the Zero Suicide Model

Session Recording


This presentation will illustrate Hartford HealthCare’s adoption and implementation of the Zero Suicide model in our health and behavioral healthcare settings.

This presentation will depict how Hartford Healthcare has created a cohesive system of care promoting suicide prevention by adopting the Zero Suicide model and implementing standard practices according to all seven core elements of the model in our health and behavioral health care systems. Hartford HealthCare’s Behavioral Health Network comprises seven different behavioral health entities providing services to individuals across the lifespan, including psychiatric inpatient, residential, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and outpatient care. Our Zero Suicide implementation team is interdisciplinary and includes representation from multiple departments and levels of care, including individuals with lived experience. In our presentation, we will discuss how we have standardized several Zero Suicide practices in our care settings, including but not limited to suicide risk screening and comprehensive assessment; safety planning, including counseling on access to lethal means and provision of lockboxes; caring connection calls to support warm handoffs and transitions, particularly for high-risk populations; and postvention support for anyone in our care systems impacted by loss, including our colleagues. While our hospital-specific Zero Suicide initiatives began in 2016, our integrated system-wide approach launched in 2018. After focusing on our behavioral health areas for the first several years, we are now expanding our Zero Suicide efforts to non-behavioral health settings as well. As such, we will discuss Zero Suicide practices in our non-behavioral health settings and outline future directions. Additionally, we will share recommendations, particularly for organizations considering implementing the Zero Suicide approach.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this program, participants should be better able to:

  1. Describe the central tenets of the Zero Suicide model
  2. Discuss best practices for suicide prevention in a Zero Suicide model in a multisite integrated healthcare system

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Clinical Psychologist — Institute of Living, Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network

Marissa Sicley-Rogers, Psy.D, is the Coordinator of the Institute of Living’s Psychological Testing Service in Hartford, CT, where she supervises psychological assessment for pre-doctoral interns and postdoctoral fellows.

Additionally, she is the Operational Lead for Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network’s Zero Suicide initiative. Dr. Sicley-Rogers completed her graduate training in clinical psychology at Antioch University, New England. At the Institute of Living, she completed her pre-doctoral internship in child and adolescent psychology and a postdoctoral fellowship in lifespan psychological assessment and group psychotherapy for suicide prevention with adolescents.


Vice President of Patient Safety and Quality of the Behavioral Health Network — Hartford HealthCare

Dr. Weidner’s mission is to save lives through the aspirational goal of zero deaths by suicide and opiate overdose.

She is also passionate about improving the quality of care and humane experience of mental health and addiction patients through initiatives that reduce physical restraint, seclusion, and violence in psychiatric and medical settings.  In Dr. Weidner’s oversite role, she oversees all clinical performance initiatives, medical provider and service line quality metrics, and risk management.  

Dr. Weidner is a proven leader who has successfully led teams throughout her 25-year career.  She started in management as the medical director for the Adolescent Assessment Unit at Somerville Hospital, Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), MA, dramatically reducing restraints to the lowest in the state.  She later directed ambulatory child and adolescent services at CHA, where she was pivotal in creating integrated services for pediatrics and behavioral health services, work which was published in Pediatrics.  Dr. Weidner then joined Natchaug Hospital, Hartford HealthCare, CT, and served as medical director for behavioral health services in the east region.  She continued to drive excellence in her role achieving best in class in key performance indicators.  Because of her passion for analytics and data and her team’s success, a vice president role was created for her overseeing quality and safety for the Behavioral Health Network of Hartford HealthCare.  

Dr. Weidner currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for the National Association for Behavioral Health and the Board of Directors for the Windham Region No Freeze Project in Windham, CT.

Dr. Weidner is board certified in both general and child/adolescent psychiatry.  She completed her general psychiatry residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and her child and adolescent fellowship at Harvard Children’s Hospital of Boston.  Dr. Weidner completed her medical training at Ross University School of Medicine, where she earned the Highest Honors and received her Master’s in Business Administration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management.

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