In response to the increased need to address suicide prevention within the health care setting, Spectrum Health designed a team S.A.F.E. response protocol and consequently trained over 5,000 employees on how to quickly activate patient safety responses by communicating the code words “Blue Envelope.” Every person within a physician’s office became proficient in how to respond at a moment’s notice to a patient who may have thoughts of suicide. Word traveled across the region of this highly successful program, and Spectrum Health began to receive requests to duplicate and customize this protocol. Under the leadership of Ottawa Public Health, Ottawa County Suicide Prevention Coalition was the first county to request a collaboration to create School Blue Envelope. Spectrum Health and representatives from eight Ottawa County schools and the Ottawa County Public Health Department joined forces and created School Blue Envelope so every school employee—from teachers to coaches and bus drivers—would know how to respond to a student who may express thoughts of suicide. School Blue Envelope maintains the foundational premise that suicide is everyone’s responsibility, as well as the S.A.F.E. action steps:
S – Stay with the student
A – Access help
F – Feelings: Validate their feelings
E – Eliminate lethal risk
Together with the collaborations of schools, public health organizations and Spectrum Health, we can save lives, one student at a time!