A Guide for Health Systems to Save Lives from “Deaths of Despair” and Improve Community Well-Being. Boston, Massachusetts: Institute for Healthcare Improvement; 2020. (Available at www.ihi.org)
Saving lives from "deaths of despair" (i.e., deaths due to drugs, alcohol, and suicide) is a complex problem that requires adaptive changes and new solutions to transform systems. IHI partnered with Well Being Trust to evolve a set of recommendations and guidance for health care systems to improve mental health and well-being in the communities they serve, focusing specifically on saving lives from deaths of despair.
The guide endeavors to provide a comprehensive framework in which multiple stakeholders can identify themselves and their contributions. A specific emphasis is placed on the role of health care systems in impacting the care they deliver and leveraging all of their assets to improve the health of populations and communities.
The guide includes:
- A proposed population-based improvement approach centered on equity, along with detailed guidance
- Key drivers to save lives from deaths of despair and example interventions
- “Start here” guidance and incremental improvements that can be implemented
- Additional considerations for health care system leaders as they partner with people with lived experience and communities to save lives from deaths of despair